Reactions to Procedural Models for Adjudicative Conflict Resolution: A Cross-National Study

E. Allan Lind, Bonnie E. Erickson, Nehemia Friedland, Michael Dickenberger

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A cross-national experimental study examining perceptions of four procedural models for adjudicative conflict resolution was conducted in four countries—the United States, Britain, France, and West Germany—whose legal procedures are based on differing adjudicative models. One hundred seventy-eight subjects rated the four models on a number of dimensions, including their preference for using the model for settling a conflict, the fairness of the model, and the amount of control over the resolution of the conflict vested in each of several roles. Approximately half of the subjects at each site were asked to assume the role of defendant in the adjudicated conflict, and half were asked to assume the role of plaintiff. The results showed a general preference for more “adversary” (disputant-controlled) models over more “inquisitorial” (adjudicator-controlled) models. This preference was not limited to subjects from nations (the United States and Britain) whose legal systems are based on adversary models. The conclusions of the study focused on the relationship between subjects' model preferences and the distribution of control over the adjudicative process among roles, and on the generality of this relationship in the nations studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-339
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1978


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