A central aim of experts, officials, and citizens meeting in the context of policymaking is to organize their encounters in ways that enable them to learn about the other's perspectives – that is, to engage in “dialogue”. However, what is less understood are the interactional trajectories over which these transformative engagements are pursued. Using conversation analysis and drawing on a corpus of recorded Dutch public meetings on livestock farming, we identify a template describing one way “dialogue” unfolds. Key to this template is organizers' query that retroactively invokes citizens' apparent trouble and invites discussion of it. Citizens respond by elaborating the issue, resulting in participants' displays of understanding conveying a state of transformation. We discuss the implications for dialogue theory and practice.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) under grant number 50-52200-98-325 .
© 2021 The Authors
- Conversation analysis
- Public meetings