Over the past half-century, the study of negotiation has blossomed into a robust discipline – negotiation and conflict resolution are recognized fields, with dedicated courses of study, experts, and institutional capital. The field has been inherently interdisciplinary from the outset, combining elements from fields including, but not limited to, economics, political science, law, psychology, anthropology, and sociology. At the University of Missouri Law School’s Tower of Babel symposium in the fall of 2016, the program focused on whether it is possible or even desirable to unify a discipline that is ineluctably diverse. Furthermore, if unification is a desired goal, how might we go about such a synthesis when those in the field, writ large, all speak different languages, draw from different disciplines, use different terminology, and conceptualize conflict and conflict behavior in different ways? Can we find significant common ground? Is there any possibility for a theory, or for an approach, that unites and streamlines?



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