Forms of dialogism in the Council of Europe Reference Framework on Competences for Democratic Culture

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Situated within research and practice on intercultural communication education, this paper suggests an urgent inclusion of dialogism and ethics in the ways it is dealt with around the world. Supranational institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Council of Europe, treat intercultural communication as a monological phenomenon with an emphasis on Self rather than on the hyphen between Self-Other. This paper calls for exploring ‘peripheral’ perspectives to enrich scholarship about the intercultural. The work of Russian philosopher and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin [2012. Sobranie sochinenij. (T.3). Teoriia romana (1930–1961 gg.). Edited by Sergey Georgievich Bocharov and Vadim Valer’janovich Kozhinov. Moskva: Jazyki slavianskikh kul’tur] is combined with Confucian ethics [e.g. Huang, Y. 2018. “Confucian Ethics: Altruistic? Egoistic? Both? Neither?” Frontiers of Philosophy in China 13 (2): 217–231] to propose a new analytical framework for interculturality. As an illustration, we then examine the descriptors of competences proposed by the Council of Europe [2018b. Reference Framework for Democratic Culture: Volume Two: Descriptors of Competences for Democratic Culture. Strasbourg: Council of Europe] to show how some of the key descriptors seem to take into account these two aspects, while at the same time negate them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-319
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number4
Early online date20 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020


  • intercultural
  • dialogism
  • voice
  • ethics
  • Confucianism
  • Bakhtin


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