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Following a national election dominated by two parties, Conservatives and Labour, Britain’s Liberal Democrats are in a position to accomplish parts of their agenda if they align with the Conservatives to create a working majority in the House of Commons. The two parties do not always see eye to eye on issues, but recognize the overriding need is to fix their country’s ailing economy.


  1. In what ways does the article express the concept of social capital?
  2. Conservative Liam Fox commented on the dynamic that might bring his group together with the Liberal Democrats. What technique for improving communication does his comment represent? What lessons could U.S. political parties take from this? What rules should they follow?
  3. If the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are able to form a working majority, what structural approach to conflict resolution is most likely being used?

SOURCE: R. Barr, “UK Liberal Democrats Mull Pact With Conservatives,” USA Today (Retrievable online at

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