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Managing Public Disputes: A Practical Guide for Professionals in Government, Business, and Citizen's Groups



Managing Public Disputes: A Practical Guide for Professionals in Government, Business, and Citizen's Groups

Susan L. Carpenter, W. J. D. Kennedy

ISBN: 978-0-787-95742-1 August 2001 Jossey-Bass 320 Pages


For more than a decade, Managing Public Disputes has beenthe first choice, hands-on guide for managers, offering usefulinstructions for handling a wide range of large and small publiccontroversies from the national to the community level. Itincludes:
* Ten proven principles for managing conflict
* A comprehensive framework with step-by-step procedures forcreating productive outcomes
* Seven illustrative case examples
* Detailed advice on effective methods for collectinginformation, conducting interviews, and analyzing a conflictsituation
* Suggestions for handling special problems such as reluctantparticipants, keeping people at the negotiation table, and handlingsituations where emotions are running high
* Eight tasks targeted for designing an overall strategy formanaging public disputes
The Authors.

Part 1: Public Controversies and Conflict Management.

1 Understanding Public Disputes: The Spiral of UnmanagedConflict.

2 Dealing with Conflict Productively: Alternatives and CaseExamples.

3 Developing an Effective Program of Conflict Management: TenPrinciples.

Part 2: A Step-By-Step Process for Managing PublicDisputes.

4 Analyzing the Conflict.

5 Designing a Strategy and Setting Up the Conflict ManagementProgram.

6 Adopting Procedures, Educating Parties, and DevelopingOptions.

7 Reaching and Carrying Out Agreements.

Part 3: Ensuring the Success of Conflict Management.

8 Guidelines for Making the Program Work.

9 Paying Attention to Underlying Dynamics: Values, Trust,Power.

10 Handling the Human Side of the Process.

11 Removing Roadblocks.


"This book has become a classic, offering sound advice about how tounderstand and use conflict resolution processes in the publicpolicy arena." (Chris Carlson, codirector, Policy ConsensusInitiative)

"A classic must-read for professional mediators, public officials,and involved citizens! Managing Public Disputes is a masterfulblend of theory, practical application, and engaging stories thattake the conflict resolver step-by-step through the dynamics ofresolving public disputes." (Susanne Terry, mediator and faculty,Mediation Program, Woodbury College)

"Required reading for anyone wanting to turn stalemate intoresults. It is foundational for the practice and teaching ofcollaborative policy making." (Susan Sherry, executive director,California Center for Public Dispute Resolution, A Joint Program ofCalifornia State University, Sacramento and McGeorge School of Law,University of the Pacific)

"The book is a truly excellent starting point for readers,mediators and facilitators..." (, 1/02)