The news media have a well-known bad-news bias. If something bad is happening or – better yet – threatening to happen, the headlines scream of impending disaster. Good news, not so much coverage. If something good happens, including averted potential disasters, ho-hum. There is much less coverage and it’s much less prominent. Such was the … Continue reading Mediators Help Save the Economy
Heidi and Guy Burgess have long focused on how society – and our field – can deal with intractable conflicts. They publish a newsletter, Beyond Intractability, that includes lots of thoughtful articles about this. The latest issue features an article they co-authored with Sanda Kaufman, Applying Conflict Resolution Insights to the Hyper-Polarized, Society-Wide Conflicts Threatening … Continue reading How Can We Reduce Hyper-Polarization?
Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $392 billion of federal investments in energy and climate policies, reflects a complex political evolution over recent decades, as described in this Washington Post article. Multiple Political Changes The bill was adopted on a purely party-line vote, with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans opposed. … Continue reading A Long, Hard Road to “Yes”
Mediators have long recognized that they can use humor to help disputants deal with conflict (though it can really backfire). What about using humor when it seems like the world is going to hell? In her essay, Please Laugh About My Abortion With Me, comedian Alison Leiby describes experiences with her comedy show “Oh God, … Continue reading Humor Theory for When Everything Seems Like it is Going to Hell
That’s the title of an article by New York Times reporter Max Fisher. He summarizes, “By most measures – with one glaring exception – people around the world are better off than ever. So why doesn’t it feel that way, especially to Americans?” Scanning the headlines, it’s easy to conclude that something has broken. The … Continue reading Is the World Really Falling Apart, or Does It Just Feel That Way?
Princeton sociology professor Paul Starr wrote an essay in the Washington Post, Conservatives Hope to Turn Back the Cultural Clock. Can They Succeed? He writes that “[r]etrofuturism is a term for imaginative works that envision a future out of the past,” and he compares the Supreme Court’s abortion and other recent decisions to “prohibition and … Continue reading Retrofuturism on the Supreme Court
New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie is an avid reader with a particular interest in American history. In today’s column, he describes various books he has been reading lately. Two of the books are relevant to the recent audacious decisions by the Supreme Court majority to radically redirect legal doctrine by using dubious jurisprudential methods. … Continue reading What Jamelle Bouie is Reading
Susanne Terry, Jacqueline Font-Guzmán, and Bernard Mayer wrote this open letter with advice for dispute resolution colleagues about difficult political, economic, and moral issues raised by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Click the title of this post to read the letter.
This post provides excerpts from an op-ed by Neal Katyal, one of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s former clerks. Mr. Katyal describes Justice Breyer’s humility, recognition of his own biases, and openness to considering others’ points of view. There was, in short, a constitutional humility about Breyer. He didn’t pretend to know the answer to every … Continue reading Humble Listening on the Bench
On January 19, the Supreme Court rejected former President Trump’s request to block release of some of his White House records to the Congressional January 6 Committee. In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals’s decision authorizing release of the documents. The Court of Appeals ruled that the right to waive … Continue reading Justice Kavanaugh’s Good Analysis of Confidentiality