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Argumentation in Conflict Resolution


Greco S.

Course director

van Bijnen E.



Argumentation in Conflict Resolution (3 ECTS) introduces argumentative dialogue as a communicative approach to handle disagreement and manage conflict. It proposes a discursive approach to interpret, analyse and reflect on how to resolve conflicts at different levels, from interpersonal and intergroup conflicts to broader societal controversies.


The course is divided into two parts. In the first part, we will introduce the method of frame analysis, used in conflict resolution/prevention, for example in environmental conflicts and intractable conflicts. Students will be taught how to recognize frame-activating words, how to use frames to map complex conflicts and reconstruct the parties’ implicit value premises; we will also touch upon how to reframe different positions to help frame convergence and conflict resolution. In the second part, we will zero in on the Alternative Dispute Resolution practice of dispute mediation as a communication-based approach to conflict resolution. Through the analysis of some examples of labor disputes, we will show the most important communication and argumentation competences necessary in conflict resolution.


This course is organized as a laboratory, around classroom discussion and analysis of empirical data. Through hands-on analyses and theoretical reflection, students will learn to analyse discourse and communication in conflicts and will be confronted with current developments of research in this field. It is possible to attend this course for students who have or have not attended Argumentation in Public Communication and have or do not have a background in argumentation. A complete syllabus will be made available at the beginning of the course.