Conflict Resolution

Advanced Problem-Solving Strategies

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This week’s parliamentary election results in Great Britain illustrate the complexities of three party negotiations.  The last time elections resulted in a so-called “hung Parliament” was 1974, when the Conservatives failed to put together a deal with the Liberal Party to form a government.  To a foreign observer, it is hard to understand why the Conservatives, who won this year’s election, cannot simply offer the Liberals some important ministries in exchange for their support, but British politicians, unlike say Israeli politicians, who are used to a real proportional representation system, seem to have little taste for making the sorts of deals necessary to cobble together a parliamentary majority. The British appear more comfortable with a winner-take-all system, both at the […]

Even though I have lived in California for 20 years, I still find the habits of California drivers a bit strange.  This morning I once again marveled at how much trouble drivers here have merging into a single lane when one lane is blocked due to construction or some other activity.  Instead of just automatically doing an alternate merge into the single lane, a whole series of elaborate games seems to be required.  The cars in the unblocked lane try to close the gap to prevent the blocked cars from changing lanes, and the cars in the blocked lane often feel the need to engage in a lot of hand signals and gestures in order to continue on their way, […]