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Dialogue theories II.This edited volume introduces the work of fifteen different individual and insightful thinkers with significant contributions to make to thought on dialogue. They come from diverse fields ranging from philosophy to family therapy and from sociology to music. Distinguished authors from a range of professional backgrounds in academia and dialogue practice present thinkers whose works they know intimately. In the contexts of intractable conflict, bitter political polarisation and complex economic and ecological crises, 'dialogue' is often raised as an alternative or as (part of) a solution. The thinkers introduced here delve deeply into what dialogue is and what it might be capable of. This book is intended to inform and inspire anyone with an interest in the meaning and value of dialogue, whether that interest is academic, professional or personal. No knowledge is assumed and authors have sought to adopt a readable style. Each chapter presents a short biography of a thinker and the core of his or her ideas, relates those ideas to the practices of dialogue and suggests further reading and questions for reflection. This is a book which seeks not only to contribute to academic reflection but also to give practical dialogue ideas and to start further conversations. The book is a companion volume to the Dialogue Theories book published in 2013, which presented ten other thinkers.
Introduction: How and why should we study dialogue?’This chapter (pp. 17-28) introduces the volume edited by Omer Sener, Frances Sleap, and Paul Weller (2016), Dialogue Theories II, The Dialogue Society, London. [ISBN 978-0-9934258-0-6]. In doing so it puts the book in a wider context of the previous volume on Dialogue Theories published (2013) by the Dialogue Society, as well as of the Journal of Dialogue Studies of which the author is academic editor. It discusses a range of key questions and "working definitions" about the nature of dialogue and critically evaluates a range of differing articulations of the aims and objectives of dialogue itself, and in relation to the study of it.