Epistemology and Ideology: The Case of Mediation
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Mediation, once an "alternative" process, has gone mainstream. Most courts in North America now include it as part of normal litigation procedure. In the United States there is even fear that mediation will lead to the extinction of courtroom trials in many areas. A decade ago scholars and researchers wondered what the institutionalization of mediation would do it, and what it would do to the legal system. Some answers are now becoming clear and they are raising concerns for both mediators and lawyers. My research begins with these circumstances but extends to a consideration of wider processes of interaction between knowledge and ideas in society. How has knowledge and practice of conflict resolution morphed into mediation ideology? Is this just one example of a new relation of production that global society now supports: the transformation of knowledge into ideology that has material effects?