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NCJ Number: 98560 Find in a Library
Title: Environmental Disputes - Will the Bureaucrats Buy Environmental Mediation (From Study of Barriers to the Use of Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution, P 56-66, 1984 - See NCJ-97339)
Author(s): R O Brooks
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Vermont Law School
South Royalton, VT 05068
Sale Source: Vermont Law School
Dispute Resolution Project
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The bureaucracy's response to alternative, mediated settlement processes in environmental disputes is discussed within the context of experiences in Vermont.
Abstract: While initial responses to the notion of providing environmental mediation services were resoundingly supportive, a closer analysis suggested that the bureaucrats expected mediation to be an institutionalized, professionalized, and marketed service. This response suggests a dual process. On the one hand, the public expressed a community ideal of harmony in which mediation was perceived as the instrument for achieving that harmony; while, on the other hand, agencies asserted their control and domain over the dispute resolution process and expressed their reluctance to subscribe fully to the mediation ideal. Further resistance to environmental mediation, surprisingly, was found among environmentalists, who viewed litigation as a tool for a battle of symbols, for public relations, and for fundraising. If the perceptions of mediation held by agencies and environmental groups are to change, this will happen through the provision of mediation services rather than through conferences and education alone. At present, incentives for the use of mediation are lacking; they will be necessary if mediation is to move from the talking stage to an ongoing effort. A discussion of issues in environmental mediation is provided.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Conflict resolution; Environmental quality; Mediation; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Vermont
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