Culture and Conflict

Event Date: Wednesday January 22, 2003
Time: DRF: 8:30-10:00 a.m. (Continental Breakfast at 8:00) Peervision Case Conference: 10:15-11:30 a.m
Location: Pound 335, Harvard Law School

Jeswald W. Salacuse

Cultural differences are at the root of many disputes, both international and domestic. The conflicts in the Middle East, the Congo, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, and Sri Lanka, to name but a few, all have important cultural dimensions. Within the United States, globalization and a growing multi-ethnic population have increasingly caused culture to become a complicating factor in dispute resolution within organizations and civil society generally. This Dispute Resolution Forum, conducted by Jeswald W. Salacuse, will examine the nature of culture, the roles that it plays in conflict, and the approaches to identifying, mitigating, and resolving cultural difference in conflicts. Participants will be invited to share their own experiences and insights in dealing with cultural difference in the dispute resolution process.

Jeswald W. Salacuse is Henry J. Braker Professor of Law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Program on Negotiation. His research focuses on international negotiation and dispute resolution. Having resided in eight countries, most recently as Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Comparative Law in Italy, and lectured and consulted in over thirty others, he draws on rich experience in the field. His books include Making Global Deals (1991, reprinted by PON in 2002), The Art of Advice (1994), The Wise Advisor (2000), and the forthcoming The Global Negotiator.

Following Professor Salacuse’s talk is a Peervision case conference, in which John A. Fiske will present a family mediation case where he mediated a dispute among five siblings ages 50 to 60 as they quarreled over how to care for their 86 year old mother. Fiske worked with the family for six months before deciding to resign. In the case conference, John will discuss the mediation, his role as mediator and his decision to end his involvement in this dispute.

John A. Fiske, LL.B., is a partner in Healy, Fiske, Woodbury & Richmond where he has been a divorce lawyer and award-winning mediator since 1979. The author of numerous articles on family mediation, John is a past president of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and chief organizer of the Gathering of New England Family Mediators.

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