Social and political dialogue

Conflicts are part of human nature. When managed constructively, they contribute to social progress. If they are not recognized and addressed in time, they can affect social coexistence and, in extreme cases, escalate into a scenario of violence. When a population segment denies legitimacy and advocates eliminating divergent democratic thinking, polarization becomes toxic: a destructive dynamic that also affects established democracies.

This action line offers tools for the analysis, management and transformation of conflicts, with a special emphasis on the case of Catalonia. The main tool for preventing or redirecting conflicts is dialogue: political dialogue at the institutional level and social dialogue at all levels of society.

The necessary conditions for a dialogue do not always exist, but we can always help promote them. Committing to dialogue requires what we have called “CARES”:

  • Curiosity to understand the reasoning of those who think differently, And:
  • REspect for all people, regardless of their positions, plus:
  • Self-criticism, because no one holds the absolute truth.

Dialogue promotion initiatives

The ICIP organizes various dialogue initiatives to promote conversation and listening between people with distant, even aggressive, positions.

These cycles bring together influential people in different areas of society and diverse opinions; young people with positions of responsibility in political parties and social organizations; faculty, and international experts.

These experiences aim to test different methodologies for promoting dialogue, bringing people with plural opinions into other spaces.

Among these initiatives are the Àgora Project, dialogue cycles with young politicians and secondary school teachers and collaborations with organizations such as the Escola de Cultura de Pau and The Protopia Lab organization.

New audiovisual: risks of toxic polarization

Polarization, in so far as the existence of opposing positions regarding debate topics, is not harmful to society. Beyond the confrontation of ideas typical of a democratic system, there is a phenomenon on the rise in many established democracies that is pernicious in many ways. It is toxic polarization, a dynamic in which different positions are belittled and delegitimized: “others” are seen as “enemies”, and there is no place for dialogue, debate and confrontation of constructive ideas.

Dealing with toxic polarization is a challenge as a society because it affects coexistence, cohesion and democratic culture. Toxic polarization impairs political and social debates, generates political disaffection and can lead to violence.

The animated audiovisual “Risks of toxic polarization: how to deal with it”, made by the ICIP and Intuitivo Films, warns about this harmful dynamic and exposes some tools we have at our disposal to avoid it.

Polarization analysis sessions

Democratic societies are immersed in a growing process of politicization. Political mobilization around highly divisive issues has resulted in questioning the fundamental pillars of our political systems and the polarization of the societies in which we live.

Antagonistic ideological projects are currently generating a growing confrontation in societies that see new gaps appear due to socio-economic disparities, migration, the rejection of traditional political institutions or territorial integration.

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Last update: 29/01/2024