As a parallel comment to preceding entries, have a look at this article from The Guardian by two colleagues at the National University of Singapore: Simon Chesterman, in the Law School, and Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy:
One of the questions raised here – indeed central here – is the role of pragmatism at the heart of this Asian (and ASEAN) way. I’ll have to come back to this at another time, but the question we struggle to address in mandatory Ethics classes at SMU is whether pragmatism passes as an ethical framework – to which the answer is conventionally, though cautiously, ‘no’.
A related question, and closer to the mediation theme of the blog: how does pragmatism fit with the so-called ‘principled’ foundations of mutual gains negotiation? What happens to the principles of negotiation and mediation if, in the end, the game is fundamentally pragmatic?