Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Political Science

Supervisor

Prof. Charles Jones

2nd Supervisor

Prof. Richard Vernon

Joint Supervisor

Abstract

The goal of this dissertation is to specify the feasibility conditions of compromise. More specifically, the goal of this dissertation is to specify the conditions of increasing the feasibility of compromise. The underlying assumption here is that feasibility is a scalar concept, meaning that a socio-political ideal can be feasible to different degrees (Lawford-Smith 2013). In order to specify the conditions of increasing the feasibility of compromise, it is necessary to first identify potential feasibility constraints. The main chapters of this dissertation are devoted to this task.

My research identifies two kinds of feasibility constraints that compromise potentially faces: A psychological feasibility constraint on realizing moral compromise (i.e. compromise on moral issues) and a structural feasibility constraint on realizing fair compromise. The psychological feasibility constraint consists in what I call an “affective aversion” to compromise. Affective aversion designates a deep emotional reluctance to compromise on moral values, which, I propose, can be reduced by cultivating an affective attitude of respect for other persons. The structural feasibility constraint refers to the process through which a compromise is achieved. I argue that if a fair compromise is the goal, the process of compromising needs to be based on deliberation rather than on the negotiation or bargaining processes that are commonly associated with compromise. Based on these results, my research indicates a) that an affective cultivation of respect is a condition for increasing the feasibility of moral compromise; and b) that deliberation, not negotiation or bargaining, is a condition for increasing the feasibility of fair compromise.


Share

COinS