"Civic Fusion: Mediating Polarized Public Disputes" is a new book by internationally renowned mediator Susan Podziba and published by the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution .

Drawing on the author's 25 years of experience in public policy mediation, the book:

* Describes 'civic fusion,' a phenomenon whereby people with passionately different political positions bond to address common public goals without sacrificing core values.

* Examines the ways in which passion, power and conflict can fuel successful mediation outcomes.

* Teaches by example through an in-depth evaluation of three of the author's past projects.

* Discuss secret talks among pro-life and pro-choice leaders in the wake of fatal attacks at two women's health clinics in Massachusetts.

* Explores regulatory negotiations among stakeholders and government that resulted in industry and union-supported worker safety standards for construction cranes.

* Looks at a charter consensus process that helped a failed city reclaim its democracy.

Using these real-world examples, "Civic Fusion" guides readers through a provocative discussion about what mediators aspire to do, what they actually do, and what needs to be done to bring disparate groups of people together to reach agreements on complicated public policy questions.

Susan L. Podziba has been a public policy mediator for 25 years, and her clients have included the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor and Transportation, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Institute for Peace. Podziba is listed on the U.N. Mediation Roster and has taught graduate seminars in mediation and negotiation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

"Civic Fusion: Mediating Polarized Public Disputes" costs $59.95 and can be ordered by calling 1-800-285-2221 or visiting

Published: Fri, Dec 14, 2012


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