Sustained Dialogue, birthed in international diplomacy, continues to thrive alongside our work on campuses. The latest U.S.- Russia dialogue, known as the Dartmouth Conference, took place under the intense scrutiny of current relations between the two countries in late March. And the exchange between American and Russian representatives confirmed that SD works: the relationships generated over decades provide a counterpoint to the polarization almost everywhere else between the two global superpowers.
This week, the conversations were taut, even grim. The Russians spoke of an anti-Russia campaign in the American media. The U.S. delegation raised issues of trust between the countries. But when relationships are at their lowest ebb is when dialogue must be most active, and it is where SD thrives. The goal of the Dartmouth Conferences is to draft recommendations for policymakers and concrete proposals for joint projects in both capitals. This round produced some agreements such as the importance of youth, cultural, and scientific exchanges, an interfaith conference in Kazan, Russia, and dialogues between U.S. and Russian youth, perhaps in a middle space between the countries, such as London or Hawaii.
In all, our work together, whether on campuses or in diplomacy, is the same, and it is VITAL: only a culture of dialogue enables all people to relate peacefully, justly, and productively.