I wonder if the fact that there is such a push for ‘win-win’ situations has anything to do with contemporary individualism.

Inputs that have got me thinking about this include,

  • I am still reading Swidler’s Talk of Love and I came across the section describing how, “Free choice by an autonomous self makes action valid.” (Swidler 2001: 153).
  • Trying to work out the significance of economic measures of well-being along with economic justifications for non-discrimination and equality (eg Michell 2010 & Wilkinson and Pickett 2009).
  • Thinking about community consultation, imperfect information and procedural justice (eg Batten 1998; Catt and Murphy 2003; King 2010).
  • Following some local government work on footpath trading and public toilets.

I do not think that working towards win-win situations is a bad thing, but I wonder if the rhetoric of it obscures real conflicts of interest.


Batten, D. 1998. “The Bayside Project: Particiaption against the odds,” in Planning practice 1998 : The best and worst examples of city planning and development. Edited by K. Shaw, pp. 17-25. North Melbourne: People’s Committee for Melbourne.

Catt, H., and M. Murphy. 2003. What voice for the people? Categorising methods of public consultation. Australian Journal of Political Science 38:407-421.

T. King (2010) “Damming the flow: Cultural barriers to perceived ‘procedural justice’ in Wonthaggi, Victoria”, Cultural Studies Review 16 (1), 1-12

Mitchell, H. 2010. Economics of equality report: An investigation into the economic benefits of equality and a framework for linking the work of the Commission with its impact on the wellbeing of Victorians. Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and the Social Justice Initiative at the University of Melbourne.

Swidler, A. 2001. Talk of love: how culture matters. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Wilkinson, R. G., and K. Pickett. 2009. The spirit level : why more equal societies almost always do better. London: Allen Lane.


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