Below was a conversation between two Chinese philosophers, namely, Huizi (“Hui”) and Zhuangzi (“Zhuang”) on the Joy of Fish when they were strolling on a bridge over River Hao more than two thousand two hundred years ago.   Zhuang :    That minnow swims leisurely and it must be joyful. Hui        :   You…

I have been musing about what a mediator might say to President Putin given the opportunity. That led me to compose a letter a few weeks ago, with which I have since tinkered. This is merely a thought experiment. The letter goes something like this: “Dear President Putin I write as a mediator, a peacemaker….

A disaster has unfolded in Ukraine and beyond in the month and a half since Russia invaded. Thousands of dead and injured, reports of horrific brutality, millions of refugees and towns and cities reduced to rubble. Russia is also suffering from economic sanctions, the loss of many of its brightest and best and a pariah…

It was Thursday, February 24th, 2022. From the morning, I had been mediating a dispute between a grandfather and two of his granddaughters. Then, during the break, I switched on my phone and read the news. Very shocking news. As a person that has spent all his professional life bringing peace and understanding to the…

The escalating situation in Ukraine brings challenges to those of us committed to mediation and peace-making. Is there a time when what we stand for does not work and cannot be pursued? When dialogue, even in the most threatening of situations, is not appropriate? I don’t pretend to have the answers but I have been…

Effective inter-governmental relations among the constituent parts of the United Kingdom are essential in an era of increased devolution of powers, post-Brexit allocation of responsibility and contested narratives about the future of the (uncodified) UK constitution. Background One of the rather depressing aspects of the constitutional impasse in the UK is that inter-governmental relations (IGR)…

List of Must-Read Books for Every Negotiator Let me introduce you to my new project. I would like to put together a list of five books every negotiator must-read. And when doing this, I do not have in mind works directly related to negotiation and/or mediation such as Getting to Yes by Roger D. Fisher…

Music and art make continuing and surprising contributions to Dispute Resolution. Greg Bond’s June Blog, written as a means of keeping his promise to write about the Beatles, shared lyrics that gave conflict a new voice. Synchronicity has been at work and suddenly the Beatles lyrics are getting a lot of exposure in the conflict…

My colleague and fellow Kluwer author Charlie Woods has likened my scatter-gun approach to starting new projects and coming up with new ideas to “guerrilla gardening”. I am sure he means it as a compliment. Some ideas take seed…. So, here is another seed. Just a week or two ago, I was reading a (UK)…

Bloomberg (not my usual reading fodder, I confess) carried an interesting piece a couple of months ago, entitled “Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks”. Yes, it was about Brexit (yawn) but it was about an unseen side of the negotiations. Opening with the line “In every negotiation the most important work is done…