Power Imbalances in Mediation: A student note by Amrita Narine

By Amrita Narine*

In recent years, mediation has become increasingly popular and now represents a viable option for parties in a variety of scenarios. Despite its rising popularity, mediation has received mixed responses because of the potential to entrench preexisting power imbalances. This paper will explore the usefulness of mediation when dealing with an imbalanced power dynamic.

In part I, this paper will focus on defining power within mediation. Part II will explore the critiques of mediation in situations where there is an imbalanced power dynamic and specifically delve into gendered imbalances and employment imbalances. After exploring the critiques and responses to them, part III will focus on specific techniques that a mediator can use to help balance out the power dynamics at play and offer best practices for dealing with power imbalances.

Read the full paper here.

*Amrita Narine is a third year JD student at Harvard Law School. She currently serves as the Managing Editor for the Harvard Negotiation Law Review and previously served as Submissions Editor. She graduated summa cum laude from the Macaulay Honors Program at CUNY Baruch where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Corporate Communications.

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