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Pulling Together: Shared Intentions, Deliberative Democracy and Deeply Divided Societies

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ian O'FlynnORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


If a deeply divided society is to make the move from conflict to peace and democracy, its communities must pull together. While togetherness can be construed in different ways, its basic logic can be spelt out in terms of the notion of a ‘shared intention’. Accordingly, the burden of this article is to argue that developing shared intentions between conflicting communities is important for overcoming their conflict and to explain why deliberation is a better instrument than bargaining for developing them. As we will see, entering into bargaining involves a more limited or less ambitious shared intention than entering into deliberation, and deliberation is likely to promote other shared intentions in a way that bargaining is not.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Flynn I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Political Science

Year: 2017

Volume: 47

Issue: 1

Pages: 187-202

Print publication date: 01/01/2017

Online publication date: 22/09/2015

Acceptance date: 09/07/2015

Date deposited: 13/07/2015

ISSN (print): 0007-1234

ISSN (electronic): 1469-2112

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0007123415000459


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