“Hormetic consolidation” – Marc’s bid for immortality

So, you adopt just enough of the opposing coalition’s rhetoric and even one or two of their trivial policy recommendations (from what the ACF crowd would call the secondary aspects’).  And this makes you look reasonable, and the opponents look churlish if they don’t applaud your reasonableness.

And either way it (probably) takes some wind from their sails.  Of course, the danger is that you may be perceived to be weak, and further bigger and more substantive demands now get made. It’s a question of timing (within the escalation of a scandal), and of how ideologically united the opponents are. It usually works, but if left too late, can spur opponents on (Mubarak saying he would not stand for re-‘election’ was an example of the latter).

And since this doesn’t seem to have a name (but I could be wrong), I am going to call it…

(drum roll please)

Hormetic consolidation 

Hormesis – is the term for generally favorable biological responses to low exposures totoxins and other stressors. It comes from Greek hórmēsis “rapid motion, eagerness”, itself from ancient Greek hormáein “to set in motion, impel, urge on”.”


“the minor changes supported the position of the major coalition, as they diminished the leverage the opposing, minor coalition had in its efforts to influence the Swiss position toward South Africa.”

Hirschi, C. and Widmer, T. 2010. Policy Change and Policy Stasis: Comparing Swiss Foreign Policy toward South Africa (1968-94) and Iraq (1990-91). Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 38, (3), pp.537-563.

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