From Resolution to Transformation: The Role of Dialogue Projects

Dialogues can be viewed as one means – if not the classical one – of dealing constructively with conflicts. In the following, I propose to examine some of the core features of dialogue projects, looking at their variations and implications in greater detail. First I will give an overview of several different ‘ideal types’ of dialogues, as well as identifying the basic elements of most dialogue processes. Second, I will distinguish between four concepts of dialogue work, a taxonomy which serves primarily to illustrate the practical nature of such projects. Third, dialogue projects will be set in the context of various approaches to handling conflict, in order to better establish criteria for measuring success. Fourth, I will present a number of lessons learned in the course of recent evaluation studies. The questions raised above will be discussed at the end, on the basis of the underlying empirical experience on which this chapter is based.

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