9.6 Overcoming a Refusal to Negotiate

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/96.htm)

Governance can only respond to people’s needs if everybody is prepared to negotiate.  Both the government and the governed need to have some flexibility – yet there are people who refuse to compromise.  The following sub-sections examine different kinds of refusal to negotiate:

  • Religious absolutism (9.6.1);
  • Political dissidents (9.6.2);
  • Authoritarian intransigence (9.6.3).

This categorisation does not imply that intransigence is always one-sided.  Although one side might accuse the other of refusing to negotiate, situations are often more complicated than that.

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