Breaking the Impasse

Consenual Approaches to Resolving Public Disputes
Jeffrey Cruikshank
Basic Books

Conventional ways of handling public disputes no longer seem to be working. Nowadays, almost every government effort to build new facilities, promote economic development, set tougher environmental standards, or reallocate funds to meet emerging social needs, faces stiff opposition from someone. The result is costly and time-consuming litigation and the continued erosion of public confidence in our basic institutions.

There is a better way, and in Breaking The Impasse: Consensual Approaches To Resolving Public Disputes, Lawrence Susskind and Jeffrey Cruikshank present tested, new, consensus-building strategies that not only save time and money, but produce agreements that everyone can support. Writing in a direct, jargon-free style, the authors draw on more than ten years of firsthand experience to demonstrate that it is possible to avoid the bitterness of "win-lose" outcomes though negotiation. The result is an indispensable, practical guide that no one--government official, business leader, citizen-activist--who has ever been involved in political action or who cares about the future effectiveness of our political institutions can afford to miss.


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