Civic Fusion: An Overview
In Civic Fusion: Mediating Polarized Public Disputes, I draw on three of my past projects to explain how to move parties from polarization to deliberative negotiations that result in innovative consensus solutions.
- During secret meetings in the wake of fatal attacks at two women’s health clinics in Massachusetts, as pro-life and pro-choice leaders continued to vehemently disagree about when life begins and a woman’s right to choose to terminate her pregnancy, they also acted in concert to protect born people from violence.
- When crane accidents accounted for the highest incidence of worker fatalities and serious injuries in construction, the crane industry, unions, and the federal government engaged in regulatory negotiations that resulted in consensus standards to protect workers. As a result, fewer people will fall from or be crushed by cranes in the U.S.
- After being pulled back from the brink of bankruptcy, the City of Chelsea reclaimed its democracy after citizen-representatives negotiated the terms of a new city charter with systematic input from thousands of fellow citizens. Ten years later, the city balances its budgets and attracts private investment.