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Radical Philosophy Review

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2020

Strategies of Resistance

Richard Schmitt
Pages 71-88

But What If We Cannot Agree?

A central challenge common to democratic processes is the inability of citizens to reach agreement on any given matter. Most frequently these disagreements are settled by vote, victory going to the majority. But majority rule is a fairly recent technique. Traditionally decisions were made by some form of non-opposition. This paper describes several versions of that decision-making technique and then shows how mediation methods, also known as “ADR” (Alternative Dispute Resolution), can replicate these traditional ways of overcoming disagreement. The paper argues that these techniques are frequently superior to electoral methods of reaching agreement.

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