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[liberationtech] Citizen Summit in Denver Feb 11-15, 2009
companys at stanford.edu
Mon Sep 1 13:23:12 PDT 2008
*Imagine* a celebration of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth that
reunites people from across the political spectrum in a process of
co-creating a grassroots, transpartisan agenda for America…
• Re-build trust, respect and communication across political divides
• Experience living democracy where all voices matter
• Co-create a *transpartisan*<http://reunitingamerica.org/whats-transpartisan/emerging-transpartisan-field-american-politics>vision
A microcosm of America -- approximately 1/3 right of center, 1/3 left of
center, and 1/3 independent or un-aligned.
The Emerging Transpartisan Field in American Politics Transpartisanship
Transpartisanship represents an emerging field in political thought distinct
from bipartisanship, which aims to negotiate between "right" and "left,"
resulting in a dualistic perspective, and nonpartisanship, which tends to
avoid political affiliation altogether. Rather, transpartisanship
acknowledges the validity of truths across a range of political perspectives
and seeks to synthesize them into an inclusive, pragmatic container beyond
typical political dualities.In practice, transpartisan solutions emerge out
of a new kind of public conversation that moves beyond polarization by
applying proven methods of facilitated dialogue, deliberation and conflict
resolution. In this way it is possible to achieve the ideal of a democratic
republic by integrating the values of a democracy -- freedom, equality, and
a regard for the common good, with the values of a republic -- order,
responsibility and security.
The Transpartisan Field* *
Transpartisanship is increasingly being used to describe the collaborative
efforts of citizens and leaders who seek to discover and implement the best
possible policies regardless of political ideology. Transpartisanship
practices and methods are currently being employed by all levels of
government (national, state, and local), various citizen groups, nonprofit
organizations, corporations, consulting and conflict-resolution firms,
university programs and more. Together these efforts have generated a
considerable body of work that is forming the Transpartisan field.
History of the Emerging Transpartisan Field* *
Like most modern schools of political or social thought it is difficult to
pinpoint the exact origin of Transpartisanship. The term was used as early
as the late 1980's when it appeared in an essay titled "Self-Reliant
Defense: Without Bankruptcy or War," by American scholars Gene Sharp and
Bruce Jenkins of the Albert Einstein Institute. Sharp and Jenkins state:
"whether the proposal is to add a civilian-based resistance component or to
transform to a full civilian-based defense policy, the presentation,
consideration, and decision should not be made on an ideological or partisan
basis. Instead, civilian-based options in defense need to be presented and
evaluated in a "Transpartisan" manner-not tied to any doctrinal outlook or
narrow group." This early use of the term Transpartisanship emphasized the
selection of best practices regardless of specific political ideologies. The
ideas behind Transpartisanship have quickly spread into other disciplines
including politics, society, culture, economics etc.
Emerging Elements of the Transpartisanship Field* *
- Transpartisanship is a vibrant and evolving field; however there are a
few key concepts that are especially characteristic:
- All systems are interdependent - All things are fundamentally
interconnected influence one another, which in turn validates each
individual component (or belief). Transpartisanship therefore honors each
belief and strives to fully integrate it into the system, thus achieving
- All points of view are equally valuable - Every belief or view can be
important in reaching collaborative decisions.
- Optimal solutions are reached through honest and authentic dialogue -
In order to arrive at practical and sustainable solutions all viewpoints can
be shared openly and honestly.
- Disagreement can be an asset - Disagreements over an issue need not
undermine consensus if all parties are willing to harness existing tension
to find common ground. New alliances will naturally form and collaboration
will often reveal previously unanticipated solutions that can satisfy all
- The public must take responsibility for being heard - Transpartisanship
holds that good decisions are made by considering a wide range of opinions.
Reintegrating the public at large into the conversation can enhance the
range of opinions and lead to better decisions.
- Need to protect the sovereignty of the individual - While the role of
the community is undoubtedly vital for reaching effective solutions, so too
is the need to protect individuals from the dictates of the collective.
Views and opinions may only be expressed honestly when the individual is
free from coercion.
Note: Transpartisanship in currently an evolving field and therefore lacks a
unitary definition or set of core values. The definition and values listed
above should be seen as a guideline to begin the discourse over
Transpartisanship, not a terminus.
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