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Sara Greco


Sara Greco (Ph.D., 2009) is Associate Professor of argumentation at the Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics (IALS) at USI, where she teaches verbal communication and argumentation. She is Associate Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society. Her research mainly concerns the role of argumentative dialogue as an alternative to conflict escalation, considering interpersonal conflict as well as broader public controversies. She directs research projects and doctoral dissertations on these topics within the IALS. Since 2018, she is leader of the empirical working group within the European Cost Action entitled: European network for argumentation and public policy analysis ( She is regularly invited as a guest lecturer or guest speaker at several universities in Switzerland and abroad. Previously, from 2010 to 2011, Greco has been visiting lecturer at University College London, while from 2011 to 2012 she has been visiting researcher at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. From 2008 to 2012 she has been lecturing at the University of Neuchâtel, where she is now an associate researcher at the Institute for Psychology and Education


I work on collaborative argumentation. For me, argumentation is a means to handle disagreement, to create dialogue spaces where persons can communicate and exchange their views in a reasonble way, and to resolve conflict. Argumentation is important for the society precisely because it is a reasonable dialogue that helps manage disagreement and build social relationships. Ultimately, this is the philosophy behind my research and teaching.

Together with my research group at USI, I work on argumentation as a means to resolve conflicts at different levels in society, with a particular focus on dispute mediation as an Alternative Dispute Resolution practice (see the monograph Argumentation in dispute mediation, John Benjamins 2011). Currently, I am directing a FNS project on reframing as a mediator's communication competence.

I am also interested in how argumentative dialogue is present in other domains such as the family, educational domains and public discourse. Currently, I am working on research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation on children's argumentation (in collaboration with the University of Neuchâtel - I am Associate researcher at the Institute of Psychology and Education).

In the past, I have worked on the complex relation between argumentation and inner dialogue in the experience of international migrants. Such research line is markedly interdisciplinary and has been pursued in tight collaboration with the IPE at the University of Neuchâtel and with the School of Psychology at the University of Surrey.

In my research activities, the analysis of spoken and written argumentative discourse goes hand in hand with a fine-grained discourse analytical and linguistic approach considering semantic and pragmatic aspects of communication. I like interdisciplinary research activities and I love collaboration in motivated teams. 

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