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Dispute resolution practitioners and scholars know conflict. In fact, some would say that we love conflict. And yet, despite our affinity with conflict, the polarization that is evident in today's public space has been disconcerting. While we generally operate in a space where we are constantly exploring options, seeking compromise, helping participants explore their interests and finding ways to move towards agreement, what seems like an inability to even engage in any kind of dialogue is troubling. These and other related concerns led the editors of the Journal of Dispute Resolution to solicit contributions from seven well-known conflict resolution scholars on the topic of political polarization and dispute resolution principles. The articles in this virtual symposium serve as an initial building block in what we hope is a sustained engagement across the dispute resolution community with this topic. Recognizing the importance of the topic, and the fact that in the era of Twitter, social media and continuous communication, news travels faster than it ever has in human history, the symposium is being published online in order to accelerate its publication and hopefully its contribution to this important debate.



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