Thesis subject

From conflict to dialogue

Different ideas about the issue at stake, related solutions and meanings attached to areas not seldom result in difficult situations during participation processes. As such, conflicts, polarization and heated debates are often occurring in participation processes where different actors negotiate over the future of parks, streets, neighbourhoods, squares etc. (e.g. their direct living environment). Fostering dialogues to come to some kind of consensus is therefore not always easy.

Maatschap voor Communication is a communication consultancy that has ample experience with such situations, and has developed different models and approaches to move from conflict to dialogue. To strengthen and develop their approaches further they have asked us to study how to come from conflict to dialogue in participation processes. Currently literature gives some insights in this, however, especially the spatial domain is relatively unexplored as literature in that domain focusses mainly on participation and less on dialogue.

The project will be executed in close collaboration with MvC and a case or cases they are working on.

Practical information

Starting date: Flexible
Preferred language: Dutch
Location/country: Netherlands
Supervisor(s)/contact person: Jasper de Vries

Background information

This study is in close collaboration with Maatschap voor Communicatie (communication consultancy). MvC is a consultancy focusses on facilitating communication processes (e.g. participation) between stakeholders working on relevant themes for broader society (e.g. sustainable spatial design, recreation and tourism, public health and social work). Facilitating dialogues is key in their
approach. Through this project they aim for further (scientific) insights in the process from conflict to dialogue.

Type of research activities

The research approaches of those projects may vary. Most likely they involve participant observation, semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The results will be rich contextual descriptions of the experiences and attitudes of stakeholders.

What kind of student are we looking for?

We are looking for students with an interest in interactive processes (e.g. participation) in the spatial domain. For instance MCH, MLP, MDR, MID, Master Tourism etc.