This handbook on group decision-making for those wanting to operate in a consensus fashion stresses the advantages of informal, common sense approaches to working together. It describes how any group can put these approaches into practice, and relates numerous examples of situations in which such approaches have been applied.

Activating a Policy Network: The Case of Mainport Schiphol
Activating a policy network: The case of mainport schiphol

When we consider how to approach social problems in general and environmental problems in particular, we think first and foremost of government. Of course, one of government's major functions is to bridge social divisions by guiding social developments. Yet governments play an ambivalent role in Western societies. In practice, they perform a dual task. Besides acting as arbiter in the social arena, a public authority usually takes part as a player in the game, even performing on separate administrative levels simultaneously (Tjeenk Willink, 1980). In the role of arbiter, government is supposed to profile itself as an institution that weighs interests by exercising its argumentation and authority and ...

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