Thursday 7 August 2014, Claire Fox

The Battle of Ideas starts here

With Gaza, Ukraine, the Scottish independence referendum and much more to debate, the Battle of Ideas is more important than ever.

After the televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling on Scottish independence, and with the impending referendum only six weeks away, one key question is to consider whether the very idea(l) of the nation state is unravelling. Internationally, state borders are under stress, with bloody consequences, between Russia and Ukraine, Israel and Gaza, and throughout the Middle East. This key issue of national sovereignty is just one of the many panel debate topics we will be discussing at this year’s Battle of Ideas, with a specific session titled From UK to Ukraine: is the nation state unravelling? scheduled for Sunday 19 October as part of a strand of Eye on the World debates looking at international issues. We have also added sessions on Israel and cultural boycotts to reflect recent events. If you are specifically interested in the Scottish question, two colleagues from the IoI feature in this Worldbytes film discussing the case for the union.

So, if you haven’t yet bought your Battle of Ideas festival tickets, do so now. We have an early-bird rate until early September – and a limited number of half-price student tickets available. See the festival tickets page.

Oh and yes, it’s the festival’s tenth birthday, so not only is the importance of serious discussion about the state of the world more pressing than ever, and necessary to shape the next 10 years, but we would love you to come and help us celebrate. We even have birthday greetings from Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who says: ‘Congratulations to the Battle of Ideas on its tenth anniversary and for the remarkable impact it has had on the cultural and intellectual life of the capital. The organisers were amongst the first to recognise the voracious appetite for intelligent, live debate amongst Londoners of all ages and backgrounds. The event has gone from strength to strength, gathering more venues, engaging more partners and attracting a range of speakers and audiences from around the world. The festival never shies away from controversial debates and often leads the agenda on issues as diverse as free speech, the role of technology and the power of the arts. All these topics are central to the future of London and we should be proud to have such a spirited public forum to discuss them. Good luck for the next decade!’

So buy your tickets NOW and join us at our fantastic partner venue The Barbican on 18 and 19 October. See you then.





Battle of Ideas 2014

10:00am, Saturday 18 October 2014, The Barbican, London

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Battle of Ideas 2018

13 & 14 October 2018, The Barbican, London