New Book: The Conflict Paradox: Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes


I am pleased to announce that my new book, The Conflict Paradox: Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes, is now available, and I hope you will take a look at it.

The book explores how we understand the choices that conflict presents us with as more complex than simple alternatives. Such as, do we:

  • Compete or co-operate? 
  • Apply cold hard logic or give in to our emotions?
  • Stick to principles or compromise?
  • Avoid or engage?

We know that the choices are more complex – and far more interesting - than these simple polarities.

In The Conflict Paradox I examine seven polarities that we often fall into as we try to make sense of conflict and respond to its challenges. I suggest that the way through complex disputes is to move beyond these seemingly clear alternatives and to recognize that each element is essential to the other. For example, emotions are essential to logic and logic to expressing our emotions. Without compromise, we cannot further our principles, and without a clear adherence to principles, compromise is meaningless. We do not choose to “just” avoid or engage in conflict—we are always doing a little of both.

And this is not just a theoretical challenge —it is fundamental to effective, ethical and powerful practice.

As in my earlier books, I draw on many stories and examples from over thirty years of practice across many different arenas of conflict. I also connect what we are learning about effective practice to ideas and concepts drawn from a range of other fields that can help us deepen our understanding of our own work. .

I am particularly pleased that this book is jointly published by the ABA and Jossey-Bass/Wiley (their first joint project). Please see this elecotronic leaflet (The Conflict Paradox) for information on purchasing the book from Wiley at a 30% discount. The book is of course also available on Amazon and elsewhere as well. Faculty who would like to consider this book as a text may order a free review copy here .

I welcome your thoughts and reactions to The Conflict Paradox. 

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