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The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It

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The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"In this 'no excuses' look at Washington gridlock, Gutmann and Thompson offer a clear-eyed examination of the forces that bring warring political leaders together or keep them apart. Far from a Pollyanna-like plea for compromise above all, this book uses fascinating historical and recent examples, and analysis, to expose the sources of dysfunction and to argue for how they can be overcome. I wish every policymaker would read it!"--Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour

"Americans tend to think that compromise is opposed to principle, and that there is therefore something dishonorable about it. In this marvelous book, two of our leading theorists of democracy defend the opposite view. Our democracy works only with mutual respect among those who disagree and requires the principled prudence that produces successful compromise. In a world of partisan gridlock and the politics of division, The Spirit of Compromise is a sane voice calling us to a better alternative."--Kwame Anthony Appiah, author of Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers

"Gutmann and Thompson have written an incisive and engaging analysis--with many contemporary examples--of why compromise is necessary in democratic politics and why it is increasingly difficult in our democracy. Watching our politicians at work, I can't imagine a more timely book."--Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study

"America now finds itself the bound prisoner of congressional gridlock. We all honestly know what we must do, but just cannot find the common purpose to do what is obviously necessary to pull the country on the road back to financial well-being and long-term prosperity. In this book, two eminent political scientists show us just why compromise seems more elusive than ever--and yet more importantly--what we can do about it. Oh, one would surely hope that those who cherish the legislative craft will read and heed this book's timely message!"--Alan K. Simpson, U.S. Senator, Wyo. (Retired)

"In an era of partisan polarization, congressional gridlock, and plunging public trust in government, this book could not be more timely. Deftly weaving together political theory and practical politics, Gutmann and Thompson trace the contours of necessary and honorable compromise, and propose reforms that would make it more likely."--William Galston, Brookings Institution

"Gutmann and Thompson rely on both theory and history to show why compromise is essential to good governing. They provide a perceptive analysis of the tensions between campaigning and governing in contemporary democracies, especially the United States. Their account is thought-provoking and timely."--Nannerl O. Keohane, author of Thinking about Leadership

"The Spirit of Compromise advances an urgent and illuminating argument about the essential place of compromise in democratic politics. It offers an incisive account of the predicament of American politics today and shows how, in spite of real disagreements, political leaders might come together for the sake of the common good."--Russell Muirhead, Dartmouth College

"As one would expect from Gutmann and Thompson, The Spirit of Compromise thoughtfully and effectively blends theory with real-life examples to underscore a larger important thesis: the political process of compromise matters."--Norman J. Ornstein, coauthor of The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track

Synopsis:

To govern in a democracy, political leaders have to compromise. When they do not, the result is political paralysis--dramatically demonstrated by the gridlock in Congress in recent years. In The Spirit of Compromise, eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson show why compromise is so important, what stands in the way of achieving it, and how citizens can make defensible compromises more likely. They urge politicians to focus less on campaigning and more on governing. In a new preface, the authors reflect on the state of compromise in Congress since the book's initial publication.

Calling for greater cooperation in contemporary politics, The Spirit of Compromise will interest everyone who cares about making government work better for the good of all.

About the Author

Amy Gutmann is president of the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences and professor of communication in the Annenberg School of Communication. Dennis Thompson is the Alfred North Whitehead Professor of Political Philosophy at Harvard University. Gutmann and Thompson are coauthors of "Why Deliberative Democracy?" (Princeton) and "Democracy and Disagreement".

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix

INTRODUCTION

Two Compromises 5

Characteristics of Compromise 10

Mindsets of Compromise 16

1 VALUING COMPROMISE

Costs of Not Compromising 30

Vulnerabilities of Compromise 35

Limits of Compromise 41

Limits of History 54

2 RESISTING COMPROMISE

The Makeup of Mindsets 64

Principled Tenacity 69

Mutual Mistrust 85

Uncompromising Multiplied 91

3 SEEKING COMPROMISE

Principled Prudence 101

Mutual Respect 109

Economizing on Disagreement 117

A Moment of Compromise 133

Compromising in an Uncompromising Time 140

4 CAMPAIGNING V. GOVERNING

Requisites of Campaigning 146

Two Conceptions of Democracy 152

5 GOVERNING WITH CAMPAIGNING

Space for Governing 168

Term Time 177

Time Is Money 180

Primary Pressures 184

More Participation? 186

Minding the Media 189

Strengthening Civic Education 199

CONCLUSION

The Uses of Mindsets 205

Doubts about Compromise 210

The Dilemma of Reform 214

The Support of Citizens 216

Notes 219

Acknowledgments 255

Index 257

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691160856
Author:
Gutmann, Amy
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Thompson, Dennis Frank
Subject:
Practical Politics
Subject:
Political Science and International Relations
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Political philosophy
Subject:
Politics - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20140431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Modeling

The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691160856 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , To govern in a democracy, political leaders have to compromise. When they do not, the result is political paralysis--dramatically demonstrated by the gridlock in Congress in recent years. In The Spirit of Compromise, eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson show why compromise is so important, what stands in the way of achieving it, and how citizens can make defensible compromises more likely. They urge politicians to focus less on campaigning and more on governing. In a new preface, the authors reflect on the state of compromise in Congress since the book's initial publication.

Calling for greater cooperation in contemporary politics, The Spirit of Compromise will interest everyone who cares about making government work better for the good of all.

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