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Mediation is growing in popularity across the world as a way of resolving disputes, particularly in the commercial sector. This book draws on extensive first-hand direct and comprehensive observations of commercial mediations conducted from the beginning to the end of the process in order to show how the process of mediation works in practice and how the process is viewed both by the parties and the mediator.
Through the use of an ethnographic method the book examines how mediation is a process inextricably linked to negotiation. It illustrates how, contrary to what has previously been assumed, the mediator becomes part of the negotiation process, at times separate from the parties, aligned with the parties or in opposition to the parties. The mediator takes on their identity in addition to her own during mediation: the mediation becomes her negotiation; the party becomes her client. For the parties, however, the mediator remains the non-aligned third party intervener and the negotiation remains their negotiation and the mediation remains a process ancillary to their negotiation, views aided in their formulation by mediators' statements regarding mediator role and mediation process. The book thus offers an illuminating reconceptualization of the mediation process and mediator intervention within that process. This book will be of interest to scholars, mediators, parties who participate in the process, and to those in public policy discourse.