2014-15 Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution

2014-15 Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution

The Next Generation’s Voice: Conflict and Democracy

April 8, 2015 at 12:10 p.m. | Saxbe Auditorium (Lunch Provided)


The 2015 Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution will be delivered by Lisa Blomgren Amsler, Professor and Keller-Runden Chair in Public Service at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

In The Vanishing Neighbor, Marc Dunkelman builds a strong case for the corrosive effect losing each other as neighbors is having on our democracy.  We blame special interests, lobbyists, gerrymandering Congressional districts, partisanship, and money in politics. While these undoubtedly have real effects, Dunkelman argues that “the Big Sort” has allowed us to distance ourselves from people who are different and surround ourselves with only those who are like us and agree with us. In other words, we have all chosen life in an echo chamber. The Big Sort is not limited to physical gated communities. It includes choosing to live gerrymandered, picking a Red town or a Blue town. It includes selection bias in information sources: Fox News or MSNBC?

For all of Dunkelman’s amazing breadth and depth as he weaves together the data into an important and persuasive warning, there is a big piece missing: the Next Generation. He recognizes that voter turnout generally has declined over the past few decades. He observes that some people believe there is no point in voting because it will not make a difference. He even includes generational separation as part of the Big Sort; younger and older age groups do not interact as much. However, he does not focus on how the vanishing neighbor is affecting the Next Generation.There is a growing mass of news coverage about the coming Clash of the Titans: the Baby Boomers and the Millennials, the big and bigger generations respectively. Will Boomers retire and suck all the money out of the Social Security safety net while the Millennials rebel and refuse to pay up? Will Boomers refuse to retire and keep Millennials out of the good jobs, leaving them saddled with huge student loan debt they cannot discharge in bankruptcy? There is ample human resources research on Millennials in the workplace; the term itself is freighted with adverse stereotypes.If we are going to save our democracy, Dunkelman tells us we need to transform our institutions. However, that transformation is likely to happen in the hands of that Next Generation.  What we need to do is examine what factors and forces shape how they view, relate to, and participate in democracy, whether the seeds of institutional change are there, and if so, what forms they may take.We need data on how the Next Gen is envisioning change to save democracy. How is the Next Generation currently exercising voice? What forms does it take? Through what systems? Two trends have appeared post 9/11: civil disobedience as a form of public engagement and online public engagement.  How do these trends interact with more traditional forms of political expression and political voice at the local, state, and federal levels?
Professor Blomgren Amsler will explore these dynamics as she discusses how the Next Gen can save American democracy.


About Lisa Blomgren Amsler

Professor Blomgren Amsler’s research looks at the areas of collaborative and comparative governance, dispute resolution and dispute system design, administrative law, and labor and employment law.  Professor Blomgren Amsler is one of the nation’s foremost experts in the field of dispute resolution. She has co-edited three books and written nearly 100 articles and book chapters.

She is the recipient of many awards for her service in the field of public administration and conflict resolution, and last year received the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution’s Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work. Her most recent book is Dispute Systems Design: Preventing, Managing, and Resolving Conflict, which she co-authored with Janet K. Martinez and Stephanie Smith.

About the Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution

The Schwartz Lecture on Dispute Resolution was established in 1992 as a result of the generosity of the late Stanley Schwartz Jr. (a 1947 Moritz College of Law graduate) and the Schwartz family. Each lecture is published in the interdisciplinary Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, in keeping with Mr. Schwartz’s interest in the promotion of scholarly publication in the area of dispute resolution.


Previous Schwartz Lectures

  • 2013-14: “Reducing Polarization: Whose Job Is It?,” Nancy Hardin Rogers, Professor Emeritus of Law and Dean Emeritus of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • 2012-13: “Error Correction and the Supreme Court’s Arbitration Docket,” Christopher R. Drahozal, John M. Rounds Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at the University of Kansas School of Law
  • 2011-12: “Negotiating in the Shadow of Organizations: Doing Well by Doing Good,” Deborah M. Kolb, Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Professor for Women and Leadership (Emerita) and Distinguished Research Fellow, The Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management
  • 2010-11: “The Timing of Truth, Reconciliation and Justice After War,” John Braithwaite, Australian Research Council Federation Fellow
  • 2009-10: “Making Deliberative Democracy Practical: Public Consultation and Dispute Resolution,” James Fishkin, Stanford University
  • 2008-09: “Never Say No: The Law, Economics and Psychology of Counteroffers,” Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor, Yale Law School
  • 2007-08: “Deliberative Democracy and Dispute Resolution,” Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT, Vice-Chair for Instruction at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Founder, Consensus Building Institute
  • 2006-07: “Good Lawyers Should be Good Psychologists: Insights for Interviewing and Counseling Clients,” Jean R. Sternlight, Saltman Professor of Law and Director, Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the University of Nevada Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law
  • 2005-06: “Developing the MRI (Mediation Receptivity Index),” Frank E.A. Sander, Bussey Professor of Law at Harvard College
  • 2004-05: “Mercy, Clemency, and Capital Punishment: Two Accounts,” Austin Sarat, Professor of Law at Amherst College
  • 2004-05: “Psychological Impediments to Mediation Success: A Theoretical Look at Practical Problems,” Russell Korobkin, Professor of Law at UCLA
  • 2003-04: “Strategic Mediation,” Francis McGovern, Professor of Law at Duke University
  • 2002-03: “Gender, Human Rights, and Peace Agreements,” Christine Chinkin, Professor of Law at the London School of Economics
  • 2001-02: Lecture was delivered by I. William Zartman, Jacob Blaustein Professor of International Organization and Conflict Resolution, and Director of African Studies and Conflict Management Programs at Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.