Bridging Divides Negotiation, Mediation, Systems Design & Dialogue

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Thursday, June 2, 2022

Knowing and Navigating Decision Rules

by Lorea Mendiguren ’23 Decision rules are a crucial part of multi-party negotiation. Whether it’s a shift in policies in the workplace, the passing of legislation in Congress, or the adoption of a World Trade Organization ruling, the process for determining how a decision is made has a major impact on the way that negotiations… More

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Dealing in Justice: System-Level Solutions for Plea Bargaining Inefficiencies in Massachusetts Municipal and District Courts

by Stephanie Kelemen ’22 Plea bargains are like medications with bad side effects—extraordinarily painful to take, but they get the job done.  In some cases, the pain outweighs the benefit of the treatment.  But in the vast majority of cases—97 percent to be precise—criminal defendants take their medicine.  And it hurts every single time. I… More

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Negotiators x PATHWAYS: A Collaboration to Facilitate Negotiations Training to Students Across the World

This year, the Harvard Law School (HLS) Negotiators (a student practice organization) had the opportunity to work with the PATHWAYS Institute for Negotiation Education to offer undergraduate students on both sides of the Atlantic an experiential journey into creative negotiation, fostering connections with peers from other backgrounds, and developing critical thinking and communication skills.  … More

Friday, May 6, 2022

This time, let’s not talk about process

In the frenzied hours since Politico published a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito striking down Roe v. Wade, commentators and writers have used strong language to emphasize the historic importance of the leak:  “unprecedented,” “shocking,” “singular and egregious.” But this focus on the leak—how it happened, who did it, and what it means for the future of Supreme Court deliberations—is misplaced if it comes at the cost of distracting from the opinion itself.  The important work to do right now has to do with substance, not process. … More

Thursday, March 10, 2022

What does Putin Want?: Assessing Interests in the Invasion of Ukraine

by Lorea Mendiguren ’23   With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and no indication of diplomatic progress since December, two questions are at top of mind: what happens next and what can we do? To understand what is driving the Kremlin’s actions and create space for potential resolutions, we must first identify what the Kremlin actually… More

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Introducing the HNMCP Spring 2022 Student Blogger

We are excited to introduce Lorea Mendiguren ‘23, who will be contributing recurring columns to our blog this spring.… More

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Negotiating the Boundaries of Acceptable Pandemic Behavior: Takeaways from Conversations with First-Year Law Students Living with Roommates in 2020-2021

Living with roommates always necessitates some degree of negotiating boundaries. Even in non-pandemic times, roommates must decide norms around cleaning common spaces, communal versus individual use of food and cookware, and playing music. The COVID-19 pandemic added additional complexity, as it brought to the forefront many of the behaviors that roommates would traditionally not need to discuss. In the face of an infectious virus, roommates’ behaviors around indoor dining, in-person socializing, and hosting guests become key topics to communicate about, discuss, and ultimately negotiate.… More

Monday, October 4, 2021

The Draw and Importance of Alternative Dispute Resolution: Perspectives from HNMCP Student Leaders

by Valerie Gutmann ’23 Part I: How I Became Involved with and Interested in Alternative Dispute Resolution at HLS The first time I heard the phrase “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) was in the fall of 2020. I had just started at Harvard Law School (HLS) virtually, during a pandemic, and I was listening to the President… More

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Introducing our Fall 2021 Student Bloggers

We are excited to introduce two student writers who will be contributing recurring columns to our blog this fall. Kelly Murphy ’24 and Valerie Gutmann ’23 bring a diverse range of experiences to their current work in dispute resolution.  Both trained mediators, Kelly and Valerie will offer informed and thoughtful perspectives on not only mediation, but also… More

Monday, September 20, 2021

Tech Disruption: An Interview with HNMCP Clinical Fellow Oladeji Tiamiyu

Technology-driven change is coming to our community so the more dialogue we have, the more likely we can avoid harmful outputs while still harnessing the benefits.… More

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Tying it All Together: Creating Purpose-Built Infrastructures to Address Inter-bubble Conflicts

By Patrick Maxwell ‘21   To wrap up this blog series, let’s think back to the first entry of this series, and the concept of “conflict resolution infrastructure” that was introduced there. Conflict resolution infrastructure is the set of processes, decision rules, specialists, and sources of truth that govern how a conflict is managed—and as… More

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

When Norms Collide, Part 5: Essential Partners’ approach to inter-bubble conflict

By Patrick Maxwell    For this blog entry, I sat down with Nadiya Brock. Nadiya is an Associate at Essential Partners—a Cambridge-based organization that equips people to live and work better together in community by building trust and understanding across differences. The communities that Nadiya and Essential Partners work with often find themselves embroiled  in inter-bubble conflicts. Nadiya and I… More

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

When Norms Collide, Part 4: Interpersonal and National Inter-Bubble Conflicts—Two Stories

By Patrick Maxwell ‘21    The next entries of this blog series will focus on examples of inter-bubble conflicts from real life—and how those conflicts came to some kind of successful resolution. In this post, we’ll examine two vignettes of inter-bubble conflict. The first example is an interpersonal conflict, returning to the world of QAnon and conspiracy theories that we first referenced… More

Thursday, April 22, 2021

What Makes a Negotiation Win-Win? Exploring Perspectives, Mutability, and the Limits of Value Creation – Part 2

By Zekariah McNeal ‘21   The precursor to this post began a discussion for why negotiations are understood to be win-win or win-lose. Analyzing how the pre-agreement and post-agreement perspectives of a negotiator relate to this question, the previous post suggested that determining whether a negotiation is win-win is quite a complex endeavor. Although the… More

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

When Norms Collide, Part 3: How Inter-Bubble Conflicts Become Politicized and Polarized—And What This Means for ADR

By Patrick Maxwell ‘21    Many of the most salient examples of inter-bubble conflicts—in a US context, at least—take the form of “culture war” issues. The opening entry in this blog series referenced an interpersonal conflict stemming from the QAnon phenomenon, and hot-button issues like abortion or climate change certainly qualify as inter-bubble conflicts. The question then arises: are inter-bubble conflicts inherently “political”? And… More

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

When Norms Collide, Part 2 – Rights, Interests, and Power: Why Inter-Bubble Conflicts are so Hard to Resolve

by Patrick Maxwell ’21   This post is the second installment of a multi-part blog series by Patrick Maxwell, “When Norms Collide:  The (Growing?) Challenge of Inter-bubble Conflicts.”  The series will explore conflicts that cut across structures, groups, and worldviews—and what it may take to effectively navigate them. Read Part 1 here.   In the previous entry in this series, we… More

Monday, March 8, 2021

What Makes a Negotiation Win-Win? Exploring Perspectives, Mutability, and the Limits of Value Creation – Part 1

by Zekariah McNeal ’21   Consider this slightly altered version of a well-known example from Getting to Yes.1 Two children are fighting over an orange, when their mother discovers them and demands that they stop. “Why do you want the orange?” she asks them both. “To make orange juice!” answers the first child. “To make a cake with the orange… More

Thursday, March 4, 2021

When Norms Collide: Part 1—What is an “inter-bubble” conflict?

By Patrick Maxwell ‘21    This post is the first installment of a multi-part blog series by Patrick Maxwell, “When Norms Collide:  The (Growing?) Challenge of Inter-bubble Conflicts.”  The series will explore conflicts that cut across structures, groups, and worldviews—and what it may take to effectively navigate them.    Sandra, Alex, and QAnon Although Sandra and Alex had been friends for years, their relationship… More

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Truth Commissions as an Antidote to Unrest: Where Dialogue and Transparency Promote Reconciliation

by Oladeji Tiamiyu ’20   In recent months, America has experienced significant social upheaval, ranging from the nation-wide protests in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd to the attempted insurrection of the Capitol that led to the deaths of 5 individuals. In July 2020, Boston, San Francisco, and Philadelphia established truth commissions in… More

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Identity Commitments at the Negotiating Table

by Zekariah McNeal ’21 Identity often affects the substance of negotiations, not just the process. But this influence might be the most likely to remain unspoken.  Consider an employee who enters her employer’s office to ask for a raise. That employee might prepare for such a negotiation by gathering objective criteria such as comparable salaries, market trends,… More