Kevin Avruch


In this essay, I want to reflect on some of the problems raised by context and pretext from a different angle. I want to first consider some aspects of the varied contexts in which conflict resolution and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) developed in the United States, particularly in the academy. Historically, there have been some differences between the two, partly evident in the different meanings of the notion of "dispute" adopted by theorists and practitioners. I then want to examine some of the underlying pretexts for doing this work, and some possible consequences-especially as we more frequently engage in the "contested export," as Menkel-Meadow has put it, -of American-style dispute resolution practice into the international arena or into other "domestic" (social and cultural) domains.



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