California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Gutmann, Amy.
Title The spirit of compromise : why governing demands it and campaigning undermines it / Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson.
Published Princeton ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, c2012.
Book Cover

 Floor3  JK468.P64 G87 2012    IN LIBRARY
Description viii, 279 p. ; 22 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. [219]-253) and index.
Contents Introduction -- Compromises -- Characteristics of compromise -- Mindsets of compromise -- Valuing compromise -- Resisting compromise -- Seeking compromise -- Campaigning v. governing -- Governing with campaigning.
Summary If politics is the art of the possible, then compromise is the artistry of democracy. Unless one partisan ideology holds sway over all branches of government, compromise is necessary to govern for the benefit of all citizens. A rejection of compromise biases politics in favor of the status quo, even when the rejection risks crisis. Why then is compromise so difficult in American politics today? In this book, eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson connect the rejection of compromise to the domination of campaigning over governing- the permanent campaign- in American democracy today. They show that campaigning for political office calls for a mindset that blocks compromise- standing tenaciously on principle to mobilize voters and mistrusting opponents in order to defeat them. Good government calls for an opposite cluster of attitudes and arguments- the compromising mindset- that inclines politicians to adjust their principles and to respect their opponents. It is a mindset that helps politicians appreciate and take advantage of opportunities for desirable compromise. The authors explore the dynamics of these mindsets by comparing the historic compromises on tax reform under President Reagan in 1986 and health care reform under President Obama in 2010. Both compromises were difficult to deliver but only tax reform was bipartisan. Drawing lessons from these and other important compromises- and failures to compromise- in American politics, Gutmann and Thompson propose changes in our political institutions, processes, and mindsets that would encourage a better balance between campaigning and governing. Calling for greater cooperation in contemporary politics, this book will interest all who care about whether their government leaders can work together. -- Book Jacket
Subject Political planning -- United States.
Decision making -- United States.
Compromise (Ethics) -- United States.
Consensus (Social sciences) -- United States.
Democracy -- United States.
Related Names Thompson, Dennis F. (Dennis Frank), 1940-
ISBN 0691153914 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780691153919 (hardcover : alk. paper)
Standard # 7253047
OCLC number 761850940