The reflexive mediator

Jay Rothman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In this article, I describe a reflexive approach to mediation, which I see as a promising corrective to two positivist ideas in our field that are slow to fade: that we should be neutral as third parties and that parties should seek solutions based on objective truth. Grounded in a more constructionist approach using findings from qualitative social research and drawing analogies from those findings as they apply to mediation, a reflexive praxis accepts the reality that a third party cannot be neutral and that constructive outcomes to conflicts are rarely rooted just in "the facts." Rather this view holds that an intersubjective rendering of reality in and out of the mediation room constitutes a large part of the collaborative effort of mediation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-453
Number of pages13
JournalNegotiation Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College.


  • Bias
  • Constructionism
  • Disciplined bias
  • Mediation
  • Mediation practice
  • Neutrality
  • Reflexivity


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