LGST 489
Alternative Dispute Resolution (OCW)


LGST 489
Alternative Dispute Resolution (OCW)

Study Guide

Unit 1– Conflicts, Disputes, and Claims

Overview, Learning Objectives, and Reading Assignments

It’s a shame the world is so full of conflict.

Reprinted with permission from www.stus.com.

Unit 1 sets the stage for a detailed look at dispute resolution by introducing the major models for understanding conflict and its consequences. Conflict can be understood as the basis of disputes and claims. Therefore, this unit examines different theories of how we view and react to conflict, how conflict is transformed into disputes and legal claims, and how we try to resolve conflict in whatever form it takes. The major focus is on determining how the legal system currently understands and attempts to resolve conflicts that have been transformed into lawsuits, which then provides the basis for a comparison with “alternative” processes.

Learning Objectives


When you have completed Unit 1, you should be able to achieve the following learning objectives.

  1. Identify and discuss various ways of perceiving and understanding conflict.
  2. Describe how culture and gender differences affect our understanding of, and reaction to, conflict.
  3. Discuss the course of conflict, from escalation to de-escalation and resolution.
  4. Describe the Canadian legal system’s current view of conflict that has taken the form of a lawsuit.

Reading Assignment

Brahm, Eric. (September 2003) Conflict stages. Beyond Intractability. Guy Burgess & Heidi Burgess (Eds.). Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Conflict Research Consortium Staff. Book Summary of Social conflict: Escalation, stalemate and settlement (by Dean G. Pruitt and Jeffrey Z. Rubin). beyondintractability.org

Felstiner, William L. F., Abel, Richard L., & Sarat, Austin. (1980–81). The emergence and transformation of disputes: Naming, blaming, claiming. Law & Society Review, 15(3/4), 631–654.