6.8.4.2 Inclusive Negotiation

(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents.  An archived copy of this page is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/6842.htm)

Negotiation can only be inclusive if there are safeguards to protect the interests of minorities:

  • State law should not be allowed to conflict with religious law (5.4.3.2).
  • 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 (6.7.4.6).
  • Agreed human rights (6.3.7) are a specific safeguard to ensure that no-one’s interests are completely overridden.

Even with procedural safeguards, though, co-operative behaviour is necessary to achieve inclusiveness.  It depends upon people respecting each other as equals, in contrast to an adversarial trial of strength.  A purely majoritarian approach, by a ‘show of hands’, sometimes fails to find the best solution – which may require the majority to adapt slightly in order to accommodate the serious concerns of a minority group.

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