The exercise and practice of dialogue can be traced back thousands of years, perhaps even to the beginning of civilisation. In more recent times there has been a surge of interest in dialogue, with the use of the term and its application proliferating within the disciplines of peacebuilding and development, but also in other fields such as education and public policy.
The growing interest in dialogue can perhaps in part be attributed to the growing and deepening polarisation that exists in many communities across the globe and both manifests itself in and is further fuelled by strong and adverse geopolitical interests. Many therefore recognise the need for more space and means to engage in genuine dialogue, among and between communities, between political parties and within global multilateral bodies.
This issue of Development Dialogue aims to deepen understanding and awareness of dialogue as a critical aspect of and tool for peacebuilding and for strengthening social cohesion. It features articles by practitioners and scholars, who share their experiences, including successes and challenges, in working to promote listening and greater understanding between groups.