Broadening the Applicability of Multi-Criteria Dispute Resolution
STUART S. NAGEL
One purpose of this chapter is to discuss the broad nature of multi-criteria dispute resolution, rather than focus on the litigation and legal policy disputes that are usually emphasized. Another purpose is to compare different types of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and adjudication.
Still further broadening involves using more generic concepts and expanding the bilateral dispute resolution to include more parties. The most important broadening, however, is more explicitly about resolving disputes in terms of solutions whereby all sides come out ahead of their best expectations. This kind of thinking can apply to disputes that relate to families, labor-management, merchants-consumers, neighborhoods, government regulation, business firms, government agencies, foreign countries, litigation, or the liberal-conservative public policy adoption controversy.
The best way to organize this chapter is in terms of two dimensions. One dimension relates to processes and the other to subjects. Negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and adjudication are the four basic processes; subjects include the family, the neighborhood, the consumer, the workplace, litigation and legal policy disputes, and the international arena. Within each of the subject areas we could talk about the four ways of resolving disputes. This process could get redundant, however, since we would be saying repeatedly how mediation is relevant to reconciling the parties and to enabling them to achieve their goals beyond their initial best expectations.