Theories of the Third Side: Who Intervenes in Conflict and Why?

This session presented by WSU Professor Bill Warters will review some of the practical models for determining who should get involved in trying to resolve conflicts. We’ll start by exploring models developed by hands-on conflict experts such as the late Jim Laue (the Community Relations Service), William Ury (the Harvard Negotiation Project) and Raymond Shonholtz (the Community Boards Program and Partners for Democratic Change). We’ll compare these very pragmatic models with some of the more theoretical work of sociologists such as Donald Black and Mary Baumgartner (authors of “Toward a theory of the third party”) to see what we might learn about the right third party roles for succeeding in resolving conflicts in different settings. Slides from this session are now available here: Warters_2015_HWHS_Theories_3rd_Side_2up_Handout.

Community Members on a Panel

Image of 1980’s era Community Boards Panel

ESCRO Team Leader

About 3rd Sider ESCRO Team Leader

Bill Warters is the Academic Director of the Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution (MADR) Program at Wayne State University. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Dr. Warters teaches courses such as the Roots of Social Conflict; Neutral Intervention Theory and Practice; Ethnography; and an online course in Communication Technology and Conflict. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Warters' work includes developing innovative conflict resolution knowledge dissemination and skill building platforms and tools. For example, in August of 2012 Bill released a free iPad app developed to promote conflict resolution in educational settings. The app drew on resources developed at his two federally-funded web clearinghouses, Campus-adr.org and CREducation.org. Project links are available at http://madr.comm.wayne.edu/#contact When he is not prepping for class, responding to program inquiries or going down twitter rabbitholes, Bill likes to ride his bike, canoe, play frisbee and attend Quaker Meeting.


ESCRO Team Leader

About ESCRO Team Leader

Bill Warters is the Academic Director of the Master of Arts in Dispute Resolution (MADR) Program at Wayne State University. An Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Dr. Warters teaches courses such as the Roots of Social Conflict; Neutral Intervention Theory and Practice; Ethnography; and an online course in Communication Technology and Conflict. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Warters' work includes developing innovative conflict resolution knowledge dissemination and skill building platforms and tools. For example, in August of 2012 Bill released a free iPad app developed to promote conflict resolution in educational settings. The app drew on resources developed at his two federally-funded web clearinghouses, Campus-adr.org and CREducation.org. Project links are available at http://madr.comm.wayne.edu/#contact When he is not prepping for class, responding to program inquiries or going down twitter rabbitholes, Bill likes to ride his bike, canoe, play frisbee and attend Quaker Meeting.