Thomas, Nancy L. (2009). Deliberative democracy and intercultural dialogue: An international agenda. Diversity & Democracy, 12(1).
Although their language and context differ, the forces behind the American deliberative democracy and the European intercultural dialogue initiatives–the goals of inclusion, justice, and freedom in society and in policymaking–are similar.
“Both emphasize intergroup relationship building and understanding. American democracy-builders have come to understand the importance of dialogue as more than “just talk.” Dialogue and informed deliberation are necessary for realizing goals of personal and cultural transformation and collective action. For colleges and universities throughout the world, the challenge is to create teaching and learning experiences that cultivate students’ skills in inclusive dialogue, public reasoning, conflict negotiation, and social and political action. If recent conversations are any indicator, this is indeed a global agenda.”
Nancy L. Thomas directs the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. IDHE is an applied research center that studies higher education’s role in American democracy and supports college and university student political learning and participation.