Consensus is a term that comes from the Latin consensus and that refers to the agreement that is reached by consent between the members of a group or between several groups. For example: “There was no consensus and the decision was postponed until next week”, “The government seeks a consensus with the opposition to establish new economic policies”, “There is a broad consensus among the club’s leaders to renew the coach’s contract ”.
A consensus decision, therefore, is one that is made thanks to the agreement of a majority but, in turn, trying to minimize the level of conflict with the minority. This means that a decision made by the majority does not always imply a consensus, since it can overwhelm the opinion of the minority.
Consensus does not require the active consent of all those involved: it is enough for those who oppose the decision to soften their rejection and tolerate dissent. Thanks to consensus, a society can achieve social peace and harmonious coexistence.
On a historical level, one of the events that became one of the largest and best examples of political consensus was the Spanish Transition, established at the end of the 1970s. And it is during it that the agreement between the different parties, of very different ideologies, to work together to get the country out of the dictatorship in which it had been immersed for several decades.
In this way, the consensus of all of them led to measures such as the creation of the 1978 Constitution, which reflects the different realities of the nation and which has become the supreme norm of the legal order of that territory. to this day.
However, it is important to underline that before creating this document, what has become known as the Moncloa Pacts was carried out. Under the umbrella of that name come to include the different collaborations, agreements and consensuses between the existing political parties as well as with the workers ‘unions and with the employers’ associations to get Spain afloat. Specifically, with all this, what was done was to take the determination to introduce various economic, social and political measures in order to ensure that the country could move forward at a steady pace.
Within the scientific field and even at the social level, there are also consensuses that have the clear objective of establishing agreements in favor of the environment to which they are referring.
If the leaders do not seek to generate consensus, outbreaks of violence are more likely, since groups that do not share the decisions of the authorities will feel that their rights are not recognized and will have a greater tendency to conflict.
The lack of consensus is dissent or dissent, which consists of not conforming to the opinion of others. Dissent is not always a confrontation, since it is possible to adapt behavior or attitude in pursuit of general well-being.