Articles on Political debate

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Children have the right to express their opinions and be heard. Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

Politics in schools? Yes, if we want children to be active citizens

We want our children to flourish. To ensure that they do, we need to help them develop their sense of good and evil, justice and injustice. Engaging in politics is crucial to this development.
Protesters demonstrate on the University of Washington campus where far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was giving a speech in Seattle on the same day Donald Trump was sworn in as president. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Free expression at universities gagged by anti-Trump backlash

Differences of opinion are the lifeblood of universities and essential to advancing knowledge. But some universities are giving in to intimidation by cancelling events with controversial speakers.
A new book expresses concern that the ‘average American’ has base knowledge so low that it is now plummeting to ‘aggressively wrong’. shutterstock

Book review: The Death of Expertise

Tom Nichols' book The Death of Expertise examines why the relationship between experts and citizens in a democracy is collapsing, and what can be done about it.
Donald Trump’s campaign has been built upon controversial statements that have kept his name in the news. Reuters/Mike Segar

Why has Trump succeeded where others would have failed?

The narrative Donald Trump has played during the campaign is that the elites who have abandoned him or disagree with him are all part of the establishment he seeks to destroy.
It may be accepted wisdom that Australians are disengaged from politics, but there are plenty of other indicators to suggest otherwise. AAP/Richard Wainwright

Australians couldn’t care less about politics? Really?

We may believe that Australians are disengaged from the political process, but that may be because we're not looking in the right places.
Students protest at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University demanding the right to be taught in English rather than Afrikaans, which they identify with apartheid. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Universities need to manage hate speech, not stifle freedom of expression

The university should be the bastion of the right to free expression in the promotion of democracy, and has a moral and ethical obligation to provide spaces for fierce debate and critical engagement.

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