Cultural & Social Studies

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Informal Justice in Contemporary Society

A Multicultural City in Israel

As Director of Community Mediation with the Ministry of Justice in Israel, Dr. Lee Li-On is at the forefront of the field’s theory and practice as it relates to multicultural contemporary society; she has been engaged with the M.Sc. Conflict Resolution Program at Ben-Gurion University. Her recent study addresses the effects of modernity on identity in ultra-orthodox religious communities.

Foreword by Prof. Allan Barsky, author of Ethics and Values in Social Work (OUP), Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary

Drawing on an ethnographic study in a multicultural city of Arabs and Jews in Israel, Informal Justice in Contemporary Society examines the models and expressions of power implicated in discourse and conflict resolution practices in cross cultural contemporary community. The author explores community politics expressed in daily life as a contextual background to the analysis of conflict resolution politics, exploring perspectives of state and civic stakeholders. Through case analysis , and addressing the individual, organizational and societal levels, Dr Li-On illustrates that conflict resolution is dominated by politics, with culture, ethnicity, and identity playing a significant role; disputing groups rely on conflict resolution to achieve contesting socio-political goals. The book explores core concerns in the field, illustrating obstacles, challenges and opportunities confronting informal justice in contemporary communities.

Informal Justice in Contemporary Society is motivated by the field’s research-practice gap and the lack of real world impact research in cross-cultural settings. The book contributes insights towards theory refinement and conflict resolution practice by addressing practical issues confronted by mediators in the field. This innovative research path introduces a holistic approach to the study of informal justice in social context, deploying multilevel ethnographic analysis to broaden the perspectives and understanding of conflict resolution in contemporary communities. Locally, it provides insights into conflict resolution in Israel in a mixed city of Arabs and Jews. This book belongs on the reference shelf of essential reading for educators, researchers and practitioners in conflict resolution and social studies, including anthropological, community, legal and cultural fields.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-805-3
Hardback Price: £45.00 / $54.95
Release Date: July 2016
Page Extent / Format: 224 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Yes


Foreword                                                               Preface                                                                              Part One: Politics of Contemporary Community – The Case of Minara

Prelude on Community Discourse                                                                                    

Chapter 1: Minara – Taxonomy of a Mixed City 

Chapter 2: Imagined Community – Jewish Perspective                                                      

Chapter 3: Imagined Community – Arab Perspective                                                         

Chapter 4: Imagined Mixed Arab-Jewish City                                                                  
Chapter 5: Conflict, Community, and Belonging                                                              
Chapter 6: Imagining Community – The Case of Minara                                                  

Part Two: Informal Justice in Contemporary Society – The Case of a Multicultural City
Chapter 7: Mediation – Beyond Satisfactory Story                                                            

Chapter 8: The Community Mediation Centre (CMC)                                                       

Chapter 9: CMC – Programme Operation                                                                        

Chapter 10: Mediators' Social Construction                                                                     

Chapter 11: The Politics of Intercultural CR Practice                                                         

Chapter 12: Conflict and Conflict Resolution – Residents’ Perspective                                 

Chapter 13: Conflict and Conflict Resolution – CMC Perspective                                       

Chapter 14: Conflict and Conflict Resolution – Stakeholder Perspective                              

Revisiting Informal Justice in Contemporary Society


The author, director of community mediation with the Ministry of Justice in Israel, examines the politics of power in conflict resolution in a mixed Jewish-Arab city in Israel. She discusses community politics in the daily life of the city, the perceptions of community and belonging by Jews and Arabs, and conflict sources, characteristics, perceptions, and interpretations. She addresses the politics of conflict resolution discourse and practice at the individual, organizational, and societal levels, focusing on the issues involved in mediation; the politics involved in Community Mediation Centres and their goals, structure, work, resources, standards, activity, and operations; mediator roles and training, and residents' and stakeholders' perspectives.

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