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Book Review:

Course Of Compromise

German Author Dr. Thomas Meyer sees the compromise as an ideal path of democracy

Compromise: The Ideal Path to Democracy

Author: Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer, Dortmund University, Germany

Published by Friedrich-Ebert Stiftung, Nepal Office

Price: Undisclosed

Pages: 38

By A CORRESPONDENT

At a time when Nepal has been passing through a phase of political conflicts and dissensions among political parties, a German professor Dr. Thomas Meyer's recently published book can be a useful guide to find out ways to settle the dissensions in society.

After the success of People's Movement II, Nepalese political parties have been engaging in one or other kinds of negotiations but they are yet to find compromise solution to end the deadlock. The postponement of the Constituent Assembly Elections in November added more complications and political parties are now in the process of finding new solution.

Published by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES Nepal), the book is first of its kind which talks about the importance of compromise and consensus in the democratic political process. With the political change of 1950, Nepal has seen many ups and downs in political process. The political process was frequently interrupted.

It is not new to see differences of opinion in democracy but there are ways of solving dissensions and differences. Compromise is one of the basic ingredients of democracy where political parties with various ideologies and interests have to compete to promote their interests.

Democracy really means pluralism of ideas. Thus dissensions are natural in democratic society. "Democracy reflects the legitimacy of differences. It begins with compromise. A sound democracy depends on building a mechanism to balance the differences of society and formulation of rules to shape the habits, norms and behaviors that define the ability of citizens to govern their lives. The civic culture of a democratic state is shaped by the rational will of free and sovereign citizens and exercise of their rights and duties in public and private lives," writes Dev Raj Dahal in his foreword. "In democracy, political parties, civil society and interest groups involve in various exercises of bargaining, negotiation and consensus-building to optimize the sharing of power and express willingness to abide by the rules of the game.'

The book review was published in Spotlight dated 14 December 2007

 
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