Reflective Digital Dialogue: A Case Study of Iran-Israel Conflict



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Dialogue as an intervention approach to conflict resolution employs a variety of setting, techniques and mechanisms to forge understanding and bring participants to a new notion of self and other. This dissertation shares knowledge based on mechanism and settings of an innovating dialogue model initiated in the field of conflict resolution, named Reflective Digital Dialogue. This model has been applied to the case study of Iran-Israel Dialogue (IID), where citizens from the two countries with high-level hostility join each other in an online dialogue. The IID is a multi-year effort to collect, examine and apply data on a dialogue intervention approach that grew out of Iranian-Israeli conflict and the personal experience of a group of citizens from the two counties and the author as a participant of that conflict. In the years since data gathering aspect of this project concluded, the author has sought to apply various theoretic and conceptual tools from an advanced education, as well as personal reflection, to develop an in-depth understanding of the large amount of data collected in the IID project into this dissertation. This research seeks answer to what kind of shifts happen when Iranian and Israeli citizens engage in a digital dialogue? It also shares knowledge and experiment of the IID model, whether the model used in the IID viable to connect mutual trust and understandings among citizens from enemy states. Compiling and coming to understand the important lessons contained in the lived experiences of the multiple participants in the IID project has involved a multi-year effort of applying newly learned theoretic and conceptual approaches. The resulting dissertation demonstrates three stages of shifts in the dialogue. The case study examines the evolution of three stages of shift, including trustbuilding, sharing fears and perception of the other and taking collaborative actions. The research also shares the challenges of online dialogue as experienced in this digital model.