Communication and Ethnopolitical Conflict
Ellis argues that resources are unequally distributed and differences are the norm. Politics is used to manage these differences and although communication is the fundamental tool of conflict management, there are other components in resolving conflicts that complement communication approaches. Dialogue and deliberation are posed as workable responses to untangling these differences and managing intractability.
← 108 | 109 →
As we will see throughout the development of this chapter, dialogue is complex and used in a variety of ways, but its most essential meaning concerns conversations where individuals seek to gain better understanding of the other. It often refers to communication that explores concerns, needs, and misunderstanding and is conducted in a space outside “normal” conversation. It is commonplace to have participants in the dialogue set aside time and space which marks off the dialogic communication. In a political sense, dialogue is used to discuss issues that are typically contentious and in the process understand and incorporate the points of view of others. The fact that people “set aside” time and place for dialogue is indicative of its unique nature. In this book we will understand dialogue as conversation pursued by two or more parties for mutual understanding rather than agreement or solutions. Dialogue groups help inform, build consensus, and develop shared values while having a significant impact on the intensity and nature of disagreements. It is deliberation, addressed in detail in the next chapter, which is the form of communication best suited for resolving differences and generating solutions. Dialogue and deliberation go hand-in-hand and cannot be fully separated, but each has its own goal. Dialogue is most sharply distinct from debate. Debate is about winning arguments and clashes designed to gain the upper hand. Debate is a zero-sum game; dialogue focuses on mutual understanding and learning about the other. Dialogue is different from debate,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.