Pursuing a Shared Future in the Face of Globalization: Four Essential Questions

Byron Bland, Lee Ross

Abstract


This paper discusses the “four-question” framework (Bland, Powell, & Ross, Barriers to dispute resolution: reflections on peacemaking and relationships between adversaries, 2012) that we and our colleagues developed in working to promote constructive dialogue and difficult compromises on the part of groups engaged in seeming intractable conflicts in Northern Ireland and Israeli/Palestine. The key feature of this framework is the need for the vision of a bearable shared future and commitment to pursue that future. Three other features of this framework are the need to build trust that commitments will be honored, the need for parties to understand and acknowledge the losses each will bear in accepting that future, and the need for the parties to settle for less than they feel justice demands, but also address the most serious current sources of injustice. This framework, we suggest, provides a useful lens for understanding and bridging the political divides apparent today in the US and many other democratic countries facing not only the economic threats and losses that globalization has imposed on vulnerable groups, but also threats and losses relating to weakening of community life and feelings of personal dignity We also discuss the phenomenon of loss aversion (Kahneman & Tversky, 2000) and its role in creating susceptibility to the rhetoric of hate-mongering populist leaders. We note the obvious need to provide a decent standard of living and greater security for the most vulnerable, but the further need to do so in a non-humiliating manner, and we also address the need to distinguish acceptable imperfect, difficult compromises from unacceptable ones.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/ijlpa.v1i1.3383

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International Journal of Law and Public Administration   ISSN 2576-2192 (Print)     ISSN 2576-2184 (Online)

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