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Micro level peace agreements - how neighbors settle disputes in mediation
Keywords: Mediation, agreements, conflict resolution, content analysis
Abstract: This study explores the content of 31 agreements reached in neighborhood mediation. Our preliminary analysis shows that the provisions of the agreements can be sorted into four main categories: 1) provisions pointing to a new beginning, 2) provisions outlining different conflict prevention measures, 3) provisions describing conflict management procedures, and 4) provisions regarding communication to outsiders. Overall, the agreements can be viewed as micro level peace agreements. They are relational rather than transactional in nature, and constitute a new kind of interpersonal contract. We discuss the implications of our study for the mediation process, and argue that insights from this study can apply to other conflict situations where the parties are interdependent in a similar manner, such as family disputes and conflicts over custody and visitation.