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People live their political lives looking toward the futre. Two ways of envisioning this future are important: a shared vision of the future and a vision of a shared future.

(1) A Shared Vision of the Future: A shared vision implies broad agreement about how the future should unfold.  It is the work of politics to define such a vision inclusing a consensue on how to bring it about. It the absence of a shared vision, the parties to a conflic may seek to impose the future they desire on their opponents.  At this point, a vision of a shared future becomes important.

(2) A Vision of a Shared Future: Democracy does not demand that the citizens share a vision of the future.  But democracy does demand that they commit themselves to a future that each would find bearable.  This future must offer them security, dignity, and the capacity to pursue the everyday goals that virtually all of us have for ourselves and our families. In other words, citizens have to commit to a vision of a shared future to have a democracy. nd Dr. Lisa M. Brown on COVID-19 responses.

Signatories:

Byron Bland, Retired Associate Director, Stanford Center on International Conflict & Negotiation, Stanford University; Fellow, Martin Luther King, Jr. King Research and Teaching Institute, Stanford University

Brian Caskey, Retired Community Police Officer, Northern Ireland

David Holloway, Emeritus Professor, Stanford University, Departments of History and Political Science; former Director, Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies

Lorelei Kelly, Director, Resilient Democracy Coalition (RDC), Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, Georgetown University

Tammy Lai, COO of the Justice and Peace Foundation; former teacher

Duncan Morrow, Professor of Politics at Ulster University, Belfast; former Executive Director of the Community Relations Council in Northern Ireland

Lee Ross, Professor, Social Psychology, Stanford University; Co-Founder, Stanford Center on International Conflict & Negotiation, Stanford University

Bernie Roth, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University; Academic Director (and Founder) Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford University

Floyd Thompkins, CEO of the Justice and Peace Foundation; Pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (Marin City, CA); Fellow, Martin Luther King, Jr. King Institute for Research and Teaching, Stanford University

Allen Weiner, Senior Lecturer in Law and Director, Stanford Program on International Conflict & Negotiation, Stanford Law School

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