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  5. Formation of Social Consensus from the Viewpoint of the Dual Character of Social Systems

2010 Vol.3
Formation of Social Consensus from the Viewpoint of the Dual Character of Social Systems

Management and Domination


Taking the standpoint of both a management system and a domination system is essential to examine the difficulties associated with and the potential of forming social consensus about today’s regional issues and development projects. Typical situations in which government and residents face difficulties in reaching consensus can be understood as two forces moving in opposite directions: efforts to resolve management issues in the context of the management system, and attempts to solve deprivation, exclusion and victimization problems in the context of the domination system. In forming consensus in such situations, it is important to realize two normative postulates, namely, problem resolution compatible with two different contexts, and the setting up of a sequential order prioritizing a domination system. This, however, requires solutions to difficult problems involving the coordination of interests in a domination system. These problems are ones associated with the feasibility of preventing or compensating for suffering and the definition of tolerance limits. Therefore, the reasonability in the context of a domination system must be established, and consensus must be formed about the conceptual interpretation of basic human rights, equity, fairness, and wisdom which constitute an internal basis for such reasonability. In terms of a social process, consensus formation hinges on the transformation of demands to management tasks, the incorporation of suffering as cost, and the offset of suffering with benefits. As for social processes for conflict resolution, two models- the power relation model and the control-by-reason mode- can be proposed,and the existent situations explained by the former need to be changed through gradual stages to situations in which the latter is applicable. Achieving this requires the creation of institutions and capable actors that would promote and support changes toward nonviolent exchange power, debate-based exchange power, and reasonability in debates and dialogues.