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Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm


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Join us to explore the purpose of debate in civil society.

The discussion, chaired by Prof. James Raven, Chair of the ESU, will be led by our panel: Dr Katie East, Lecturer in the History of Radical Ideas at Newcastle University; Bilal Mahmood, ESU Governor, senior legal consultant for China Construction Bank, and internationally acknowledged mentor to generations of young debaters; and Christopher L. Peterson, the Democratic candidate for the Governorship of Utah and John J. Flynn Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Utah. Fittingly, Prof. Peterson and his Republican counterpart, Spencer Cox, recently issued a joint TV advertisement calling for ‘Civility in debate’ especially to set an example to the young in the US.

Professor James Raven, Chair of the English-Speaking Union, says: ‘At its best, debate should be a collaborative, solution-focused process and yet, in these polarised times, public debate so often quickly descends into personal attacks or a refusal to engage. This event will examine the purpose of debate and what its rules of engagement should be.

‘We look forward to a variety of illuminating perspectives, from Dr East who inspires her students with positive models of debate; to Mr Mahmood who is passionate about debate as a tool of empowerment; and Professor Peterson, who, fresh from the campaign trail in the US, can speak first-hand about public debate in action.’

The event will be hosted on Zoom, and there will be time for questions afterwards.

Please follow this link to reserve your ticket:


Wednesday, 2nd December 2020
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Categories:

Ticket Prices

Member Ticket price
free (donations welcome)
Non-Member Ticket price


The English-Speaking Union
37 Charles Street
London, England W1J 5ED United Kingdom
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