International outlook for day two of Festival of Politics


The Festival of Politics takes on an international flavour on day two of the 2009 programme. Debates and discussions of a political theme will take audiences from the British Empire to China via the world wide web.

The morning starts with contrasting sessions examining two sides of politics – what happens in political institutions such as the European Union and how politics affects everything, even activities such as festivals.

In the Main Chamber, BBC Scotland’s Brian Taylor will chair a discussion on the European Parliament entitled: “Europe’s Parliament – Early Hopes and New Ambitions”. Thirty years on from the first direct elections to the European Parliament, Dr Winnie Ewing will join MEPs and members of the public to consider the progress made and what work there is still to do.

In Committee Room 3, the focus is on the politics of festivals. Nancy Nicolson from the Grey Coast Theatre Company and Tommy Sheppard, director of The Stand Comedy Club/Scottish Comedy Agency, are just two of the guests joining Cathy Peattie MSP for a debate about the role politics should or should not play in culture and festivals.

In the afternoon, historian Tom Devine will describe how our small country helped to mould new nations across the globe, before exploring why the Scots have had such a remarkable influence on world development. Meanwhile, The Law Society of Scotland and Young Scot host a session to consider whether the internet really can help people to get involved in the democratic process – asking if the web really is the way forward for politics.

And in Committee Room 3, Tom McCabe MSP will welcome British firm Arup, which has been employed to deliver an eco-city in Dongtan in China. With London also expressing interest in the initiative, the panel session will explore how Scotland might become involved in the move towards carbon-neutral living.

Last year’s critically acclaimed Festival of Politics proved so popular that the programme has been extended to five days, running from 18-22 August. The Festival presents a diverse programme of events bringing together politics, media and the arts through performance, discussion and debate.

On their way to and from events, visitors will be able to view the 52nd World Press Photo exhibition with striking images taken by the world’s leading photojournalists, often depicting dramatic, life-changing world events, lining the public entrance. Photographic events for the public will take place alongside this year’s Festival sessions.

Festival Partners

This year’s Festival of Politics is delivered in formal partnership with:

Carnegie UK Trust and the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust
The Law Society of Scotland
The Scotsman
EAE Leaflet Marketing Specialists
The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City

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