Journal of Mediation and Applied Conflict Analysis
Previous research on how mediation helps disputing parties to reach resolution has not addressed the interaction in caucuses (i.e. separate meetings) between mediators and individual disputants which may be held in addition to the joint mediation sessions. This discourse-analytic study of videotaped mediation caucuses reveals both constructive and potentially problematic aspects of participants’ interaction during the caucuses. While some disputants engaged in constructive actions, such as articulating their bottom line negotiating position or sharing information with the mediator which had not been revealed in the joint session, others produced negative assessments of the opposing disputants. Also, mediators’ openness in expressing their own opinions during caucuses undermined their ability to display neutrality and avoid taking sides. The implications of these findings for mediation practice and further research directions are discussed.
Garcia, Angela Cora, 2019. Understanding the Interaction in Mediation Caucuses: Negotiation Positions, Disputant Assessments, Bias and Neutrality, Journal of Mediation and Applied Conflict Analysis.