D.C. Stalemate Cries for Professional Help, Says Cornell Conflict Resolution Expert
Source Newsroom: Cornell University
Negotiations with the help of a professional neutral – a mediator – could help break the political impasse that has frozen federal government since Oct. 1, says Rocco Scanza, executive director of the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, part of Cornell University’s ILR School.
“A mediator can reduce personal hostilities and suggest new or creative ways to settle. He or she can provide ‘face saving’ for politicians who took extreme positions, but now want to settle.
“After hearing both parties, the neutral’s assessment of the dispute can help clear a path for closure. A mediator can also help preserve or rebuild relationships that suffered from the disharmony.
“Notwithstanding the current impasse, given the high level of talent among members of Congress, it is entirely possible that a mediator might be drawn from their own ranks. Congress could get lucky with the emergence of a mutually respected senator or congressperson with mediation skills, albeit, someone who has not been active in the fray.”
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