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Bernard Crick

Bernard Crick is a noted British political thinker?. He oversaw the Blair government's projects to adapt UK institutions to deal with a multicultural? society. He is well known for his book In Defense of Politics in which he defined the political virtues. These have had a profound effect on the way politics as usual has been described especially in the English-speaking world?.

Accordingly to Crick, the political virtues are all required, with possibly a good dose of patience? or humour?, to resolve contentious disputes or at least to outline them rationally or defer them to a less explosive time. Finding the path of least resistance? on a small range of all issues involved might be the only possibility to advance any solution, but, this at least builds trust that larger and more difficult problems will be addressible by the same methods. This view has since become the dominant view of peacemaking? and fundamental to participatory democracy especially as it is viewed in green politics.

Crick's model is in stark contrast to the smaller scale models of Rushworth Kidder?, but quite compatible with Carol Moore?'s advocacy of secession? to deal with an overly diverse range of ethical expectations in one jurisdiction, and with H. Edward Wrapp?'s assertion that Good managers don't make policy decisions?.

Crick's primary theoretical contribution to open politics itself was most likely his assertion that moral conflict is an absolutely inherent and necessary part of human existence. The difference between an ethical dispute and a political dispute is simply and only the public nature of the latter. That is, a public decision necessarily brings in many elements that can be assumed or ignored in a private decision:
  • the potential involvement of very many parties, in fact all of society?
  • the potential for civil unrest? if the resolution is unsatisfactory
  • the involvement of people of different ethical tradition?s or very different moral values
  • the inevitable invocation of rhetoric since there is no agreement on conceptual metaphors by all sides





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