Third-party intervention techniques: A critical review
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Conflict is one of the most dramatic and inescapable aspects of all social systems, be it personal, organizational, or international. The empirical study of conflict and conflict management is both an academic and practical exercise intended to minimize destructive consequences of conflict, while also maximizing its potential benefits. In this respect, various form of third-party intervention techniques have been developed and widely applied, as a means to steer conflict into constructive channels. In this study, two of these third-party intervention techniques— mediation and problem-solving workshops, are reviewed. Within this scope, some of the underlying assumptions on the nature of conflict and its resolution, with special emphasis on the World-Society paradigm and the Human-Needs theory are discussed. Ill Scope of mediation and problem-solving workshop activities are provided, as well as the current state of the theory and practice of mediation and problem-solving approaches. Using critical review techniques, different perspectives on the nature, roles and motives of the mediator, the participants, the style and timing of the intervention, etc. are identified. Furthermore, the setting and purpose of the problemsolving workshops are discussed with respect to three different schools of thought. As a conclusion, a comprehensive set of major drawbacks of the two techniques alongside with their contributions to the field of conflict resolution are offered and discussed in detail.
World Society paradigm