MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

The MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program is an internationally known center for action research committed to thinking about and resolving disputes in the public sector and is directed by Lawrence Susskind and Associate Directors David Fairman and Patrick Field. The Public Disputes Program has ongoing research activities dealing with international environmental treaty negotiations, consensus building in the public sector, and ensuring that science is given its due in resource management decisions. In addition, the Program is focusing on the social responsibilities of multinational corporations, how mediation can be used to resolve values-based and identity-based disputes, and how recent findings in the communications field might enhance negotiation practice.

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The Program on Negotiation’s MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program Releases “Collaborative Approaches to Environmental Decision-Making” Case Studies

PON Staff   •  10/23/2013   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution

The MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, one of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School’s many research programs, acts as a center for research committed to thinking about and resolving disputes in the public sector. Led by its Director and Program on Negotiation executive committee member Lawrence Susskind, the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program conducts research … Read More 

PON Film Series Event: Mediating Public Disputes on Fracking

PON Staff   •  04/19/2013   •  Filed in Events, MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, PON Film Series

The PON Film Series is pleased to present:
Mediating Public Disputes on Fracking

Thursday, April 25, 2013
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Austin Hall 111, Harvard Law School
Free admission; public welcome.  Pizza and drinks will be served.
About the event:

The Program on Negotiation invites the public to a special PON film series event on the topic of hydraulic fracturing, or … Read More 

PON Staff   •  02/17/2009   •  Filed in MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

In August 2008, Sage published a four volume set entitled Multiparty Negotiation edited by Susskind and Larry Crump. They will also co-edit a special issue of the Journal of Conflict Management Research that will reprint the introductory and summary articles from the Sage collection. The first volume of the set deals with the interdisciplinary foundations … Read More 

Science-Intensive Policy Disputes

PON Staff   •  02/17/2009   •  Filed in MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

Susskind and Herman Karl, Co-Director of the MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative (MUSIC) have finalized a contract with the U.S. Department of the Interior that will support the training of eight MIT graduate students each year for the next three years in collaborative environmental management — particularly adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Building … Read More 

Traditional Peacemaking in Navajo Nation

PON Staff   •  02/17/2009   •  Filed in MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

A team of Harvard Law School, MIT and Harvard Divinity School students has prepared a series of papers on “Using Traditional Peace-making in Navajo Nation to Address Land and Natural Resource Management Disputes.” With support from the Program on Negotiation, PDP has built a long-term relationship with the indigenous peacemakers in Navajo Nation. … Read More 

The Indigenous Peoples Project

PON Staff   •  02/17/2009   •  Filed in MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

Susskind and MIT doctoral student Isabelle Angeleuski have just published Addressing the Land Claims of Aboriginal Peoples in conjunction with MIT’s Human Rights and Justice Program. This monograph lays the groundwork for a new PDP effort entitled the Indigenous Peoples’ Project that will seek to formulate a “rights-based” doctrine in support of the land … Read More 

Public Dispute Resolution

PON Staff   •  02/17/2009   •  Filed in MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

The quality of our democracy presumably rests on the deliberations we are able to promote and sustain among individuals and groups with contending interests and views. The responsiveness of our elected and appointed officials also presumably hinges on our ability to involve a wide range of stakeholders in policy-making and a range of … Read More 

Global Environmental Treaty-Making

PON Staff   •  02/17/2009   •  Filed in MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

Another round of global climate change negotiations (following the Kyoto Protocol) will begin in 2009 in Copenhagen. New rounds of negotiations regarding possible changes in dozens of global environmental agreements are also planned in the coming year. The “system” of global environmental treaty-making is still in a rather primitive form. There is much we … Read More 


PON Staff   •  07/31/2008   •  Filed in MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program

“Action-research” is a hallmark of the Public Disputes Program, with faculty and graduate students undertaking projects that help both to build negotiation theory and to explain how and why particular processes may or may not work.

For instance, PDP (with support from the General Electric Foundation) has documented the Environmental Protection Agency’s experiments with “reg neg,” … Read More 

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