Jane Mansbridge and Cathie Jo Martin, eds. Political Negotiation: A Handbook. Brookings Institution Press, 2016.
The United States was once seen as a land of broad consensus and pragmatic politics. Sharp ideological differences were largely absent. But today politics in America is dominated by intense party polarization and limited agreement among legislative representatives on policy problems and solutions. Americans pride themselves on their community spirit, civic engagement, and dynamic society. Yet, as the editors of this volume argue, we are handicapped by our national political institutions, which often— but not always—stifle the popular desire for policy innovation and political reforms. Political Negotiation: A Handbook explores both the domestic and foreign political arenas to understand the problems of political negotiation. The editors and contributors share lessons from success stories and offer practical advice for overcoming polarization. In deliberative negotiation, the parties share information, link issues, and engage in joint problem solving. Only in this way can they discover and create possibilities, and use their collective intelligence for the good of citizens of both parties and for the country.