Policy makers face an impossible challenge: They must learn how to build consensus and unite people with incompatible desires. They’re caught in the crossfire of competing metanarratives—systems of belief that tell us why the world exists and to instruct us in morality. The purpose of this paper is to explore the interplay between these metanarratives and objective reality, to examine and critique ways of grouping belief systems, and to provide suggestions for building solidarity between people with different belief systems. Experienced leaders understand that disagreement between humans is often the rule, not the exception, and conflict is completely unremarkable. What’s remarkable are the leaders, followers, and policy makers who are able to navigate disagreement and still build consensus. There are tools for grouping and understanding subjective realities, each with their strengths and weaknesses, but each have limits to their usefulness. To build coalition, policy leaders can speak to the subjective realities of their constituents and appeal to their need for each other, their commitment to the cohesion of the nation, and their openness to persuasion as they build coalition and unity.
Parrish, Jordan B.
"Caught in the Crossfire: A Policy Maker's Guide to Navigating Difference How should policy makers think of individuals and groups, of constructions of self and society,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 13
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol13/iss1/6