Task Force on Negotiating Agreement in Politics

The breakdown of political negotiation within Congress today is puzzling in several important respects. The United States used to be viewed as a land of broad consensus and pragmatic politics in which sharp ideological differences were largely absent; yet, today, politics is dominated by intense party polarization and limited agreement among representatives on policy problems and solutions. Americans pride themselves on their community spirit, civic engagement, and dynamic society, yet we are handicapped by our national political institutions, which often-but not always-stifle the popular desire for policy innovation and political reforms. The separation of powers helps to explain why Congress has a difficult time taking action, but many countries that have severe institutional hurdles to easy majoritarian rule still produce political deals.

This report explores the problems of political negotiation in the United States, provides lessons from success stories in political negotiation, and offers practical advice for how diverse interests might overcome their narrow disagreements to negotiate win-win solutions.

Executive Summary »

Press Release »

Final Report »

Downloadable Chapters »

Questions or comments? Please contact [email protected]. 

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Task Force Members:

Jane Mansbridge, Harvard University, APSA President, 2012-2013, co-chair
Cathie Jo Martin, Boston University, co-chair

 

Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University
André Bächtiger, University of Lucerne
Max Bazerman, Harvard Business School
Sarah Binder, George Washington University
Emile Bruneau, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Max Cameron, University of British Columbia
Andrea Campbell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Simone Chambers, University of Toronto
Thomas Edsall, Columbia and New York Times
John Ferejohn, Stanford & New York University
Morris Fiorina, Stanford University
Robert Frank, Cornell University
Fen Hampson, Carleton University
Torben Iversen, Harvard University
Alan Jacobs, University of British Columbia
Robert Keohane, Princeton University
Andrew Kydd, University of Wisconsin
Geoffrey Layman, University of Notre Dame
James A. Leach, University of Iowa School of Law
Frances Lee, University of Maryland
Ashley Leeds, Rice University
George Lowenstein, Carnegie Mellon University
Julia Lynch, University of Pennsylvania
Thomas Mann, Brookings Institution
Nolan McCarty, Princeton University
Michael Minta, University of Missouri
Robert Mnookin, Harvard University Law School
Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University
Kimberly Morgan, George Washington University
Daniel Naurin, University of Gothenburg
John Odell, University of California, Co-Chair
David Rand, Yale University
Christine Reh, University College London
Laurie Santos, Yale University
 
Rebecca Saxe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Eric Schickler, University of California, Berkeley
Melissa Schwartzberg, Columbia University
James Sebenius, Harvard University
Janice Gross Stein, University of Toronto
Cass Sunstein, Harvard University Law School
Yael Tamir, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design
Dennis Thompson, Harvard University
Dustin Tingley, Harvard University, Co-Chair
Sonia Wallace, Rutgers University
Barbara Walter, University of California, San Diego
Mark E. Warren, University of British Columbia
Melissa Williams, University of Toronto
Cornelia Woll, Sciences Po
I. William Zartman, Johns Hopkins University
Jonathan Zeitlin, University of Amsterdam
 

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