Facilitation and Arbitration As a reminder, this course considers a range of approaches or processes to settle disputes and reach agreement among parties, all under the umbrella of conflict resolution. The specific approaches considered in this course include negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and arbitration. Last week, you considered two paradigms of the negotiation approach. Negotiation is the only one of the four approaches that may be conducted by the parties in conflict without a neutral third party. The other approaches in the range considered in this course are by definition third-party interventions. Third-party interventions include a variety of processes—including facilitation, mediation, and arbitration—in which a neutral third party is brought to the conflict to help the conflicting parties reach a resolution. (While there may be more than one neutral party brought in to help reach a resolution, and technically these people are the fourth or fifth parties, the term “third party” is used in all cases.) Third-party interventions can be distinguished by how the third party is involved with the agreement that emerges from the process. Facilitation generally refers to the involvement of a neutral third party to promote and expedite resolution of the conflict without helping disputants actually fashion an agreement. Mediation more often involves a third party who does help parties craft an agreement. And arbitration usually involves a third-party who actually renders a decision which most probably is binding. It should be no surprise to you by now that these approaches are not defined precisely or in the same way among scholars and practitioners in the field. However, these distinctions are reasonable ones. It should be noted, too, that all three approaches may be more or less formal and address conflicts that are more or less complex. **This Assignment focuses on facilitation and arbitration. The Application Assignment focuses on mediation. You are asked, however, to review the resource on mediation as part of preparing for the Discussion so that you have a sense of each of the three and how they relate to one another. To prepare for this Assignment: *Review the the online article, “Facilitation,” at http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/facilitation/?nid=1290. *Reflect on the information describing facilitation and think about the kinds of conflicts that would lend themselves to the use of facilitation. **Next, review the online article, “Mediation,” at http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/mediation/?nid=1291. As you focus on what is said about mediation, think about how it is different from facilitation and for what types of conflict mediation would be a more fitting approach. **Now, review the information in the online article, “Arbitration,” at http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/arbitration/?nid=1314. *In this instance, consider how arbitration is different from both facilitation and mediation, and when it should be used. **Think about examples of conflict that might best be resolved by facilitation, mediation, and arbitration. ***Identify a conflict (with which you are familiar or that interests you) which would most likely be resolved by either facilitation or arbitration. With these thoughts in mind: ***The ASSIGNMENT: Write a description of the conflict that you selected. Explain whether facilitation or arbitration would be most appropriate to resolve the conflict and most effective in doing so. Then justify your choice, that is, explain why you think the approach that you selected is the most appropriate and most likely to be effective. Note: Include either “facilitation” or “arbitration” in the first line of your post to indicate the third-party resolution approach that you selected.
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