Why a fair compromise requires deliberation

Journal of Deliberative Democracy 17 (1):38-47 (2021)
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I argue in this paper that the process of compromising needs to be deliberative if a fair compromise is the goal. More specifically, I argue that deliberation is structurally necessary in order to achieve a fair compromise. In developing this argument, this paper seeks to overcome a problematic dichotomy that is prevalent in the literature on deliberative democracy, which is the dichotomy between compromise and deliberation. This dichotomy entails the view that the process preceding the achievement of a compromise is essentially a process of negotiating or bargaining, which, I claim, should not be the case if a fair compromise is the goal. The reason for this claim is, in a nutshell, that negotiation or bargaining processes do not provide for an in-depth understanding of the reasons that each party has for holding their respective position. However, an in-depth understanding of each other’s reasons, is, as I will show, a necessary condition for achieving a fair compromise. In contrast to negotiation or bargaining, the deliberative process, by its very structure, provides for mutual understanding and is therefore a necessary condition for achieving a fair compromise.
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Archival date: 2021-04-06
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