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Social-cultural anthropologists' well established tradition of studying conflict resolution has hitherto had only limited application in practical programmes for intercultural ‘mediation’ on a large scale. This guest editorial suggests how the new concept of ‘diapraxis’, a practical replacement for ‘dialogue’, might stimulate a more systematic engagement from anthropologists. Some examples of diapraxis relating to the Islamic world are summarized, as described in a recent issue of Swiss government journal Politorbis.