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Marginal populations often negotiate with policies and practices of social exclusion for rights and protections.

What's the meaning of negotiate with in this context?

Does it mean "to cope with", or "to negotiate about"?

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The sentence comes from a publication called Understanding Life in the Borderlands: Boundaries in Depth and in Motion (Studies in Security and International Affairs).

The previous couple of pages are not shown in Google Books so it's difficult to grasp the full context, but this is the full sentence and the one that follows:

As David Stea, Jamie Zech, and Melissa Gray (this volume) show, marginal populations often negotiate with policies and practices of social exclusion for rights and protections. Importantly, such negotiations between marginal populations and state authorities on each side of a "national" border are constrained by the political interests and economic desires of those in power.

Which still makes it difficult to grasp the full context, but the second sentence makes it clear that the negotiations are between marginal populations on one side and state authorities on the other side. In that context, the OP's sentence then means that marginal populations agree to give up their policies and practices of social exclusion in exchange for rights and protections afforded by the state authorities they are negotiating with.

And therefore (finally answering the question), negotiate with means neither "to cope with" nor "to negotiate about". Probably the closest would be "negotiate using" but it's not a direct substitution. The rest of the sentence would also have to change, for example:

...marginal populations often negotiate with state authorities using policies and practices of social exclusion as a bargaining chip in exchange for rights and protections.

Does this help?

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In this case, negotiate with is used to mean that the ideas in question (i.e. policies and practices of social exclusion) are used by marginal populations to bargain for, and justify, protections and rights.

Take, for example, a group that is marginalized. For the sake of example we will simply say that group X has a trait that is not inherently bad or wrong, but for which they are looked down upon and discriminated against. It could be anything from sexuality to gender to race. Then let us say that these members of group X start to demand rights and protections like the ones that people who are not a part of group X have. In this case, they might negotiate with their oppression as a justification for protections.

So it does not mean either to cope with or to negotiate about. It means that the marginal groups are using their history of oppression as a justification for any rights or protections they might seek.

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