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The Virtue of Sustained Dialogue Among Civilizations (in International Journal on World Peace)

Author: Harold Saunders

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This article argues that dialogues take place between people rather than civilizations. The proposition that sovereign nation-states should be the primary actors to initiate a dialogue among civilizations has been undermined by globalization. Effective dialogue begins at the personal level, and globalization has made that not only necessary but possible. By dialogue we do not mean sporadic, one time exchanges, but rather sustained dialogue that builds a “cumulative agenda,” develops a “common body of knowledge,” and teaches participants that “relationships can be transformed.” It is only through the use of this technique, the author concludes, that a clash of civilizations can eventually be avoided and that the patterns of interaction that are ultimately responsible for conflict can be changed.


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