ABSTRACT

I n d'Estree, Beck, and Colbyl and d'Estree and Colby,2 we attempted to address the question, what is success in environmental conflict resolution?

Much of the research in the field often reduces the answer to three or four basic criteria for success, such as settlement reached, level of party satisfaction, and substantive outcome quality.3 However, a comprehensive survey of the field4 suggests a much longer menu of criteria for success that reflects the range of possible goals and emphases for conflict resolution processes. We organize these many criteria into six general categories that reflect how practitioners, parties, and communities conceive success in environmental conflict resolution: agreement or outcome reached, process quality, outcome quality, relationship of parties to outcome, relationship between parties or relationship quality, and social capital (see Box 6-1). These criteria can be applied not only to extralegal processes and outcomes such as negotiation, mediation, and consensus building, but can also be applied to more traditional, institutionalized dispute resolution such as litigation, administrative rulemaking, and legislation.5