Argupolis - Argumentation practices in context
Argupolis is a doctoral program constituted by a research and teaching endeavour focused on the study of argumentation practices in different contexts of the human society. People engage in argumentation in numerous activities: to make sound and well-thought decisions, to critically found their opinions, to persuade other people of their own proposals and to evaluate others´ proposals. These activities are significantly determined by the contexts in which they take place; thus argumentation moulds its strategies in connection with these very different contexts: from family to social and political institutions, from financial markets to media, schools, factories and courts. From the point of view of the educational program, Argupolis provides PhD students with adequate conceptual and methodological tools for developing rigorous and innovative investigations of the specific manners in which argumentation is used in human interaction within different contextual spheres. In its research activities, a number of projects and (about 20) doctoral dissertations are currently being developed, regarding argumentation in several specific contexts. Argupolis deals with a number of crucial issues emerging in the recent developments of argumentation theory, like the prevention and management of conflicts, the psycho-social dimension or argumentative contexts and practices, the status of modality in argumentation, the role of context in designing argumentative strategies and the conditions of effectiveness of argumentative interventions. Argupolis rests on four research institutes responsible for the scientific direction of the program: the Institute of Linguistics and Semiotics at the Università della Svizzera italiana (Eddo Rigotti), the Institute of Psychology and Education at the University of Neuchâtel (Anne-Nelly Perret-Clermont), the Institute of Psychology of the University of Lausanne (Michèle Grossen) and the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric of the University of Amsterdam (Frans H. van Eemeren). This academic core is enriched with a number of other partners providing the expertise on argumentation in specific contexts. This ensures a sound collaboration between the more theoretically-oriented argumentation studies and the specific applications to different institutional contexts; it has built an interdisciplinary network of excellence on with regard to argumentation in context, based in Switzerland but strongly connected with the international research community.