The Possibility of Popular Justice

A Case Study of Community Mediation in the United States

Subjects: Law, Sociology, Political Science, American Politics, Anthropology
Ebook : 9780472023998, 504 pages, numerous tables, May 2010
Paperback : 9780472083442, 504 pages, numerous tables, 6 x 9, May 1995
Hardcover : 9780472104260, 504 pages, numerous tables, 6 x 9, November 1993
See expanded detail +

Can popular justice ever be a real alternative to the violence and coercion of state law?

Look Inside

Part 1. Defining Popular Justice
Sally Engle Merry and Neal Milner          3
Sorting Out Popular Justice
Sally Engle Merry          31
The Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution: Reflections on ADR as a Social Movement
Peter S. Adler          67
Evaluation of Community-Justice Programs
Kem Lowry          89
Part 2. San Francisco Community Boards and the Meaning of Community Mediation
Community Boards: An Analytic Profile
Fredric L. DuBow and Craig Ewen          125
Organizing for Community Mediation: The Legacy of Community Boards of San Francisco as a Social-Movement Organization
Douglas R. Thomson and Fredric L. DuBow          169
Justice from Another Perspective: The Ideology and Developmental History of the Community Boards Program
Raymon Shonholtz          201
What Mediation Training Says—or Doesn't Say—about the Ideology and Culture of North American Community-Justice Programs
Vicki Shook and Neal Milner          239
Dispute Transformation, the Influence of a Communication Paradigm of Disputing, and the San Francisco Community Boards Program
Judy H. Rothschild          265
Police and "Nonstranger" Conflicts in a San Francisco Neighborhood: Notes on Mediation and Intimate Violence
Fredric L. DuBow with Elliot Currie          329
Part 3. Contested Words: Community, Justice, Empowerment, and Popular          
The Paradox of Popular Justice: A Practitioner's View
John Paul Lederach and Ron Kraybill          357
Local People, Local Problems, and Neighborhood Justice: The Discourse of "Community" in San Francisco Community Boards
Barbara Yngvesson          379
Community Organizing through Conflict Resolution
Christine B. Harrington          401
When Is Popular Justice Popular?
Laura Nader          435
The Impossibility of Popular Justice
Peter Fitzpatrick          453
Contributors          475
Index          479


"The Possibility of Popular Justice is essential reading for scholars and practitioners of community mediation and should be very high on the list of anyone seriously concerned with dispute resolution in general. The book offers many rewards for the advanced student of law and society studies." --Law and Politics Book Review
"These immensely important articles--fifteen in all--take several academic perspectives on the [San Francisco Community Boards] program's diverse history, impact, and implications for 'popular justice.' These articles will richly inform the program, polemical, and political perspectives of anyone working on 'alternative programs' of any sort." -- IARCA Journal
"Few collections are so well integrated, analytically penetrating, or as readable as this fascinating account. It is a 'must read' for anyone interested in community mediation." --William M. O'Barr, Duke University
"You do not have to be involved in mediation to appreciate this book. The authors use the case as a launching pad to evaluate the possibilities and 'impossibilities' of building community in complex urban areas and pursuing popular justice in the shadow of state law." --Deborah M. Kolb, Harvard Law School and Simmons College
Sally Engle Merry is Professor of Anthropology, Wellesley College. Neal Milner is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution, University of Hawaii.

Sally Engle Merry is Professor of Anthropology, Wellesley College.

Neal Milner is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Conflict Resolution, University of Hawaii.