Hope for Compromise

A new U.S. Congress, the country’s 113th, was sworn in to office yesterday. The 112th Congress leaving office fought in its final days to come to an agreement on tax and spending legislation. The new Congress will face the renewed debate over the increased $16.4 trillion debt cap, among other high priority issues like new gun control and immigration reform.

While the previous Congress has been deemed arguably the least popular and least productive in history, the new Congress will face many of the same problematic issues that hindered the resolutions of the previously divided Congress. Why does compromise remain such a difficult part of American politics today?

Calling for greater cooperation in often sharply divided contemporary politics, Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson’s The Spirit of Compromise will interest all who care about whether their government leaders can work together. Check out the Introduction here.


“In an era of partisan polarization, congressional gridlock, and plunging public trust in government, this book could not be more timely. Deftly weaving together political theory and practical politics, Gutmann and Thompson trace the contours of necessary and honorable compromise, and propose reforms that would make it more likely.”–William Galston, Brookings Institution