This book is written for those who wish to enhance their understanding of and competencies with constructively managing conflict. Our interest in developing this resource came at the request of government and community practitioners with whom we worked on various projects, ranging from pedagogy in the classroom to strategic planning and consensus-building in the community. This wide range of demand underscores the limited scope of research on effective dispute resolution and the infancy of conflict management as an area of practice. Consequently, the field has lacked a comprehensive text on understanding sources of conflict and developing practices for successfully addressing and managing disputes.
More recently, however, some scholars have begun to fill this void. For example, Deutsch and Coleman (2000), in their edited volume The Handbook of Conflict Resolution, offer a collection of works that discuss the theories and practices of conflict resolution from a social psychological perspective, focusing on interpersonal and intergroup settings.
Our volume makes an additional contribution by offering a menu of theoretical frames and a variety of practical strategies to facilitate effective dispute resolution in educational, organizational, policy, and community settings. The objectives of this collection of works are threefold: first, to help practitioners understand how to foster cooperation in diverse organizations and communities; second, to impart essential tools and techniques that may prevent, mitigate, and successfully resolve differences; and finally, to offer direction for additional research by helping to establish a systematic body of knowledge to guide academics and practitioners as we seek to further develop our knowledge of and competency with the complexities of conflict management.
ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK
The book is organized into three main parts. Part I contains chapters focusing on strategies for educating others about managing conflict and learning from