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NCJ Number: 113150 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluations of Dispute Processing: We Don't Know What We Think and We Don't Think What We Know
Author(s): J P Esser
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 97
Sponsoring Agency: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
Sale Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Law School
Disputes Processing Research Program
Madison, WI 53706
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This monograph identifies, describes, and reviews evaluations of dispute processing as a research project and a body of literature.
Abstract: It is argued that the conceptual perspective that frames such evaluation combines a new formalist perspective on dispute processing with an impact analysis method of social science research. The new formalism understands impact analysis as a means toward the construction of both a general theory and enlightened social policy. The formalist perspective is critically assessed through an attempt to apply its basic premises in constructing a review of evaluation results. These premises include that there are a small number of essential types of dispute resolution procedures, that societies establish dispute processing programs with distinctive jurisdictional boundaries, and that ineffectiveness of programs can be identified and corrected by applying general theoretical principles. The review challenges these assumptions and suggests that disputes and dispute mechanisms do not have essential characteristics that are easily classified into types and that effective matches of mechanisms and disputes are not defined by laws of social action. While the new formalism has inspired useful research and improved social policymaking, the results of that research have not substantiated intellectual coherence which the assumptions predict. In addition, they have blinded the field of the political dimensions of dispute processing and related research. An annotated bibliography, by methodology, of evaluative research is appended. Charts, tables, and 32 references.
Main Term(s): Dispute processing
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Evaluation of evaluation
Note: Institute for Legal Studies, Dispute Processing Research Program, Working Papers, Series 8
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