A talking shop or debating society is an organisation or place where discussion is the main activity, with no decisions or actions necessarily arising from the discussion. Talking shops may be considered unproductive, bureaucratic or self-serving and so may lack respect and power. The term "debating society" is considered derisive.
The term 'Talking shop' is usually used in a pejorative or derogatory sense; apparently fruitless discussion forums are often dismissed as talking shops.
The term has been applied to many political forums, including supranational bodies such as the League of Nations, the United Nations, the European Parliament, European Political Cooperation, the ASEAN, the Organisation of African Unity or devolved and autonomous bodies such as the National Assembly for Wales or the regions of England.
- Sue Wright (2000), Community and communication
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