Mediating distance: Online Tools for Reconciliation?

By Ian MacDuff, Director of the New Zealand Centre for Conflict Resolution

Ian introduces his article by saying 'This comment is as much a speculation as it is a note on aspects of contemporary online dispute resolution (ODR) practice. The speculation is as to the wider potential of ODR, beyond the current areas of attention in the management of disputes which arise in the online environment, whether that is the informal context of chat rooms and e-groups or the commercial environment of cross-border, arm’s-length transactions. The questions I raise here arise from a combination of experience: first, experience in the regular face to face mediation of disputes; second, in the early mediation of online disputes; and third, in the field of conflict management capacity building in internal, intense conflicts.

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