About the author: Joseph Reagle is a PhD Candidate studying collaberative cultures, specifically the Wikipedia, at NYU. See also his homepage: http://reagle.org/joseph/
This paper explores the character of "mutual aid" and interdependent decision making within the Wikipedia. I provide a brief introduction to Wikipedia, the key terms associated with group decision making, and the Wikipedia dispute resolution process. I then focus on the cultural norms (e.g., "good faith") within Wikipedia that frame participation as a cooperative endeavor. In particular, I argue that the "neutral point of view policy" policy is not a source of conflict, as it is often perceived to be, but a resolution shaping norm. However, the naive understanding that this policy is about an unbiased neutrality is also problematic. I conclude by identifying some notions from negotiation literature that may be inappropriate or require adaptation to the Wikipedia case.