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Dialogue Statements or forms of Intervention: Tentative typology

Tentative typology


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Prepared as a contextual statement (see others) on the occasion of the Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) for the International Facilitating Committee for the Independent Sectors in the UNCED process (Geneva). Portions of the text were published in the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1994-5, vol 2) and in the online version of its commentaries (to which links below are made) shaping the global network of local bargains by decoding and mapping Earth Summit inter-sectoral issues. [IFCD51D ]
It may be usefully asked to what extent further repetition of statements of a particular type will shift the discussion to a higher level of discourse. Many interventions simply reinforce existing positions without offering a way forward -- especially when they fail to respond to the context created by opposing positions. The typology may also be used in analyzing declarations with a view to clarifying how statements of different types can be more productively combined.

A. CONTEXT-SETTING

  • Statement of world-views
  • Affirmations of belief, principles, support or solidarity
  • Invocations: clauses, principles, deity
  • Acknowledgement (recognition) of context
  • Recognition of historical situation (recalling)
  • Temporal constraints (urgency)

B. PERCEIVED TRUTHS

  • Statements (perceptions, confirmations, denials, assertions) of facts or conditions
  • Explanations, answers
  • Illustrations, parallels

C. JUDGEMENTS

  • Evaluations, assessments, judgements
  • Expressions of approval / disapproval
  • Protestation, rejection, disagreement, contest
  • Expressions of blame or accusation
  • Self-evaluation, self-criticism
  • Recognition of limitations, constraints
  • Self-justification, excuses
  • Expressions of regret, apologies

D. APPEALS TO OTHERS

  • Calls: for solidarity, subscribe to, believe in, support
  • Calls: for action, research, intervention, sanctions
  • Appeals for resources
  • Injunctions upon others (should's or should not's)

E. ACTION

  • Decisions, action resolutions

F. UNCERTAINTY

  • Acknowledgement of lack of knowledge or information
  • Questions

G. INTEGRATIVE INSIGHT

  • Articulation of challenge or opportunity
  • Wisdom
  • Humour