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<xTITLE>Sacred DR Story–The Wise Woman of Abel of Beth-maacah</xTITLE>

Sacred DR Story–The Wise Woman of Abel of Beth-maacah

by Andrea Schneider
August 2015

Indisputably

Andrea  Schneider

Another story from Charlie Pillsbury of Quinnipiac:

There’s a sacred ADR story in the Second Book of Samuel, which relates how the negotiating skills of a “wise woman” saved her city of Abel of Beth-maacah. 2 Samuel 20: 1-22*.  A man named Sheba son of Bichri tried to incite a rebellion among the people of Israel against King David and the people of Judah. David’s nephew Joab and his soldiers pursued Sheba and the Bichrites, who took refuge in the city of Abel. The following passage tells the rest of the story:

15Joab’s forces came and besieged…Abel of Beth-maacah; they threw up a siege-ramp against the city…. Joab’s forces were battering the wall to break it down. 16Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, ‘Come here, I want to speak to you’.” 17He came near her; and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant.” He answered, “I am listening.” 18Then she said, “They used to say in the old days, ‘Let them inquire at Abel’; and so they would settle a matter. 19I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel; you seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel; why will you swallow up the heritage of the Lord?” 20Joab answered, “Far be it from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! 21That is not the case! But a man…called Sheba son of Bichri has lifted up his hand against King David; give him up alone, and I will withdraw from the city.” The woman said to Joab, “His head shall be thrown over the wall to you.” 22Then the woman went to all the people with her wise plan. And they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, and all went to their homes, while Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.*

In reflecting on this text, I can only wonder how life would have been different for the people of Afghanistan and the NATO countries had there been such a “wise woman” and, of course, a NATO general willing to listen to her, who together had devised a similar plan about the fate of Osama bin Laden. Countless lives of both combatants and innocent civilians would have been saved. Lacking both this wisdom and willingness to negotiate, we know all too well the course of this modern tragic story, one that is sadly still unfolding.

*Citations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Biography


Before Andrea Kupfer Schneider even knew or understood the words negotiation or mediation, she figured a way to outsource her chores to her younger brother by paying him a part of her allowance.  Not a new trick, but noteworthy that she hit upon the idea naturally. Such is the somewhat tainted beginnings of what would become a notable career as a professor and prolific writer in the disciplines of legal practice, deal making and conflict management. Only many years later, having obtained her A.B. degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs and Public Policy at Princeton University, and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and studying with Roger Fisher and others associated with the Negotiation Project, did her interest and passion for understanding how people deal with difficult issues and make decisions begin to gel. And afterwards, she enhanced the breadth of her perspective with study and a postgraduate Diploma from the Academy of European Law in Florence, Italy. She joined the faculty of Marquette University Law School in 1996, where she continues to teach ADR, Negotiation, Ethics, and International Conflict Resolution and is the Director of the nationally ranked Dispute Resolution Program.

Andrea’s writing reflects an integrated perspective of the importance of negotiation and mediation that is not bounded to one or a few particular disciplines.  She is either an author, co-author, co-editor, or contributor to   numerous books, texts and articles in the field of dispute resolution, including: the forthcoming Negotiation Essentials for Lawyers (ABA 2019) building on the two volume Negotiator’s Desk Reference and, earlier, The Negotiator's Fieldbook all with Christopher Honeyman; Negotiation: Processes For Problem-Solving and Mediation: Practice, Policy & Ethics, and Dispute Resolution: Beyond The Adversarial Model with Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Lela Love & Jean Sternlight; and co-author of two books with Roger Fisher, Beyond Machiavelli: Tools For Coping With Conflict and Coping With International Conflict. And beyond practice theory, strategies and techniques, she also explored the frequently overlooked presence of negotiative process in every part of our society; her book, Creating The Musee d’Orsay:  The Politics of Culture in France, explores the place of negotiation and politics in art and architecture, and her most recent book, Smart & Savvy: Negotiation Strategies in Academia, written with her father David Kupfer, a researcher and emeritus professor of psychiatry, as the title suggests, explores the necessity for negotiation in an arena that is not  easily or openly admitting of the need for such skills.  Andrea has also published numerous articles on negotiation, ethics, pedagogy, gender and international conflict and currently serves as the co-chair of the editorial board of the ABA Dispute Resolution Magazine.    She is a founding editor of Indisputably, the blog for ADR law faculty and the 2017 recipient of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work, among other awards. All of this is capped off with her 2016 TEDx talk entitled Women Don’t Negotiate and Other Similar Nonsense.

Her range and scope of interest in how negotiative work can be done more effectively not only in legal practice but in the surrounding politics and culture of our society makes her perspective all the more valuable.



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