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Against Political Compromise: Sustaining Democratic Debate


Ruser, Alexander, Machin, Amanda
Against Political Compromise: Sustaining Democratic Debate
Ruser, Alexander, Machin, Amanda: Against Political Compromise: Sustaining Democratic Debate, New York, London, Routledge, 2017.
Political compromise is emerging as a preferred solution for numerous apparently intractable problems. Many have pointed to the rising degree of political polarisation around issues such as climate change, immigration and abortion. These are ‘wicked problems’ that are clearly not conducive to any sort of political consensus. The groups and individuals who are party to these issues disagree, often both fully and fiercely. As an alternative, political compromise seemingly offers a way of respecting difference while simultaneously generating a decision upon which policy can move forward. But proponents of political compromise should also acknowledge its significant weaknesses and dangers. Invoking recent examples from various policy areas to illustrate their claims, the authors assert that compromise can disguise inequality, reduce plurality and heighten uncertainty. In short, compromise can weaken democracy and must not be seen as some sort of political panacea.
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Forschungsbericht der Abteilung für das Jahr 2017