Designing Community-Based Dialogue
Governing Principles That Stand Out
Which Governing Principle did you select in the poll? Share what is important about it to you.
For a governing principles like ‘joint ownership’ and ‘inclusiveness’ the social grouping in a particular environment might cause some difficulties. In a particular environment which has been balkanized along religious lines, getting participants to sincerely be part of a dialogue where it is expected to be all conclusive could create initial difficulties due to decade long suspicion that has become a way of life. The process will definitely not move smoothly and the ‘joint ownership’ principle might not completely get the buy-in of all at the end. However, with sincerity and patience, the facilitator might make progress even if it might not be fast progress. the Key thing here is how the facilitator pays attention to the process.
Politically there must be an extent to which there is the political will to make sure that these principles are entrenched in a process of dialogue. Our political way of life or political affiliations sometimes tend to create biases, build walls in our thinking or shape our perspectives in certain ways that if not overcome can often tend to make achieving these governing principles of dialogue more difficult. Social inclinations in the form cultural or religious beliefs and behavior if not carefully set aside and open minds created, can be an obstacle to sure these principles of dialogue are taken into cognizance. People must have the open mindedness to accommodate the views of others for the process to move on smoothly.
For the group of people who feel marginalised either politically or in other aspect such as gender, minority group in terms of ethnicity etc, the principle of inclusiveness could be difficult to achieve as existing stereotypes could affect the thinking of both marginalised and dominating groups. Similarly, this could affect the joint ownership principle as the smaller group would think they are only being used as an instrument of carrying out other group’s agenda.
In a highly complex and heterogeneous society where you have minority ethnic groups existing side by side major ethnic groups, the fear of domination especially on the part of minority identities could make joint ownership and inclusiveness somewhat a herculean task. This is more so where the quest for political power thrives on the manipulation of these diversities. However, operating a democratic or political culture that is define on the premise of equality would allay the fears of minority groups and galvanize a strong bond of nationhood.
Joint ownership and inclusiveness will be harder to achieve if dialogue is held between high officials and citizens who might be cowed. Or between people with huge economic disparity, the top 1 percent and the rest for instance. Dialogue in traditional settings where women have less say might make the governing principles less feasible, same goes for dialogue between those in an insecure environent. The convener’s job is to get the groups or participants to a place were they are ready to engage.
Para mi lo más importante es la inclusión, que todos y todas las participantes se sientan igual de importantes en esa conversación y que por lo tanto exista humanidad para entender las diferentes posiciones o situaciones que se presenten. Por eso se me hace tan importante preparar bien el espacio donde se desarrolla este ejercicio.