Building Trust across the Aisle

Building Trust Across the Aisle


Bipartisan cooperation is unlikely without strong, civil relationships between legislators and legislative leaders of opposing parties. The report's case studies illustrate the importance of building relationships between legislators of opposing parties that are characterized by civility and trust, as a prerequisite to engaging in bipartisan collaboration. This is especially true of legislative leaders.


State chambers should take proactive steps to foster civility and trust. Collaborative policymaking requires that legislators with different ideals and perspectives be willing to engage one another in the deliberations and bargaining necessary for them to find common ground. In the absence of trust and civility, legislators are unlikely to see these negotiations through, or initiate them in the first place. Strategies for improving legislative relationships include:

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