Document Type



Whether we can expect others to listen—and whether we choose to listen to others—have become central challenges in handling conflicts around polarized and high-profile political matters. For those who study alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”), these concerns about listening hit especially close to the bone because they implicate some of the most foundational precepts of dispute resolution practice. This paper explores some of these implications in the context of the fight over reproductive rights, with special focus on the “listening dilemma” that people experience when navigating extremely difficult conversations around crucial political entitlements, especially when those entitlements are in the process of being made and unmade. Paying closer attention to the listening dilemma and other unusually challenging dynamics in public conflicts makes plain the importance of social context when deciding what interventions may be applicable or appropriate. As it turns out, these interventions include listening—but not as dogma and only to the extent that listening makes sense, given goals and context.



First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.