A matter of opinion? Populism is the word on everyone's lips, be it for describing Brexit, Trump or the AfD, but what about left wing parties like Podemos & SYRIZA and politicians like Macron and the many mainstream copycat proponents of "a new direction"? What is populism & why do some populisms get better press than others?
An ideological chameleon Liberalism has many faces, but all seem to have come into the firing line of late, why is this and what does it mean to be a liberal in the twenty-first century? Is there a growing disenchantment with economically liberal ideas or with the concept of liberalism itself or infighting within liberalism?
A necessary evil? What are populists and why do some populists get tarred with the populist brush while others receive a more enthusiastic reception? Are populist movements morbid symptoms of a dying political order or the first signs of a democratic renewal? And, should we celebrate rather than criticise their efforts to overturn our top-down systems?
An unsafe space The Battle of Ideas is back for another year of provocative challenging debate. This year, the Barbican Centre awaits visitors with an action packed weekend featuring more than a hundred debates on diverse themes
Out of the echo chamber This year's Battle of Ideas focuses on free speech, but looks at a myriad of different areas from Brexit and Trump through to coups in Brazil and Turkey and tensions in and with Eastern Europe. Join 400-plus speakers in London's Barbican for a debating festival of considerable breadth, which demands that its audiences challenge and be challenged! Watch the recordings!
Positive discrimination? Does the current focus on diversity do more to divide than to unify societies? Join De Balie and the Institute of Ideas for this Battle of Ideas debate on the differences in our societies and how we think about politics and citizenship. Watch the recording!
Stronger in or taking control? As the UK's EU referendum looms large, two groups of sixth formers come head to head. This debate sees students of Queens’ School & Havering College pushed to get to grips with the focal points of both the pro and anti EU campaigns while bringing in their own arguments for remaining in or leaving the EU. Read more & listen to the podcast!
Freedom of speech Theoretically democratic institutions defend our right to free expression, yet there are an increasing amount of clausal restrictions on what we can say. How freely can we express ourselves nowadays, are the restrictions that are in place well founded and who should determine what we are allowed to say in public? Read more!
Extremism The National Front are resurgent in France, the English Defence League an emerging threat in the UK and Golden Dawn a rising force in Greece. How much of a threat are these groups in reality, is the so called "new European far-right" a serious concern or simply a serious exaggeration? [video highlights]
Political Unrest Is European politics starting to witness new forms of participation which could lead to a European equivalent of the recent Arab Spring or are we just seeing a rise in the superficial politics of populism? What is the reality of European politics today and how can we expect it to look in the future? [video highlights]
European Economics What is myth and what is reality in the current European economic crisis? Are the solutions to be found in further federal integration, in renationalisation or in a North/South divide? More importantly, who should decide which of these options is ultimately adopted? [video highlights]
Image and Identification Europe is safe and still relatively prosperous, the largest economic unit in the world. One can travel throughout most of the continent untroubled, tourism is booming and the thought of conflict risible, however, is something missing, is Europe...boring?