A Good Agreement Is

A Good Agreement Is

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The “instrumental” school does not attribute the same centrality to the agreement, the negotiation of which is only one of the many stages of a complex transition. It should therefore not bear the burden of the whole process alone. Concern about the imperfections of the agreement in terms of wording, feasibility or legitimacy should be weighed against the overriding need to maintain the momentum of the entire transition. Ambiguities, shortcomings and even flagrant impossibilities are acceptable costs. Over time, ambiguities are removed, gaps are filled, changes are made to account for impossibilities and, most importantly, the relevance of seemingly intractable issues is compromised, as the parties begin to learn to put complacency before confrontation. In this sense, implementation cannot and should not only be expected to reflect the original agreement. One of the implications is that a mediator is required to ensure that negotiations between the parties meet these high standards, even if it means opposing the impatient people and the parties themselves. If we are already there, let us remove the words “good” and “bad” from the scientific literature in almost all cases. Science is not a place to judge values.

Judgments, of course. Opinions, observations and speculations are correct if they are labeled as such. (“We believe..” is a completely legitimate way to start a sentence if you have to tell the reader that you don`t know something safely.) Your data matches something or doesn`t match…