Complexity and the role of values in mediated water disputes: Exploring resolution
Scholars and practitioners of environmental conflict resolution recognize the complex nature of environmental conflicts, encompassing such elements as resource distribution, value differences, data interpretations, relationship problems, structural constraints, and competing interests. A transformative approach to resolution would suggest parties should address both immediate and underlying root causes of the conflict by understanding and resolving all aspects of even the most complex conflicts. This research provides the analysis and results of interviewing more than twenty conflict resolution practitioners about their experiences mediating water-related disputes, particularly focusing on the role of differences in parties' core values and impacts or influences associated with whether such differences were resolved. It found that while value differences were present in every case described, this source of conflict was most frequently identified as not addressed during resolution. Further, results indicated (71% confidence) that practitioners were more likely to observe value differences were not addressed for cases they indicated had achieved full resolution. The resulting question this result raises for the field is whether full resolution can actually be achieved without addressing value differences.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
0649: Alternative Dispute Resolution