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Can a Compromise be Fair?
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Professor Peter Jones
Dr Ian O'Flynn
Jones P, O'Flynn I
Politics, Philosophy and Economics
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This paper examines the relationship between compromise and fairness and considers in particular why, if a fair outcome to a conflict is available, the conflict should still be subject to compromise. It sets out the defining features of compromise and explains how fair compromise differs from both principled and pragmatic compromise. The fairness relating to compromise can be of two types – procedural and end-state; it is the coherence of end-state fairness with compromise that proves the more puzzling case. We offer reasons why people should be allowed to resolve conflicting or competing claims through compromise, even if compromise comes at the expense of end-state fairness, but we resist the suggestion that the primary rationale for compromise is to be found in non-ideal circumstances.
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