Inclusive Political Negotiation

Inclusive political negotiation requires the involvement of all interested parties, rather than a majority forcing its policies through.

A purely majoritarian approach, by a ‘show of hands’, sometimes fails to find the best solution – which may require the majority to adapt slightly to accommodate the serious concerns of a minority group.  As noted at the beginning of this book (2.5), no solution can be stable unless everyone affected can see that their concerns have been taken into account.

Theresa May wasn’t inclusive in negotiation with MPs when trying to win Parliamentary approval for her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.  As commented by Jill Rutter and Anand Menon:

“In a hung parliament, in which both big parties were riven on the issue, she made no serious attempt to reach out beyond her benches until it was too late—even, it should be said, when trying to sell a Brexit that was much closer to the preferred outcome of those in other parties than her own troops.”

Inclusive political negotiation on sensitive issues requires safeguards to protect the interests of minorities:

●  State law should not be allowed to conflict with religious law (

●  Consultative governance (6.5.3) can ensure that all relevant views are taken into account.

●  Particular attention should be paid to representation for ethnic groups in a pluralist society (

●  Agreed human rights (6.3.7) are a specific safeguard to ensure that no-one’s interests are completely overridden.



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/6842.htm.