There has been a huge surge in media coverage mentioning "culture wars" in recent years, the number of articles focusing on the existence or nature of culture wars in the UK has gone from just 21 in 2015 to 534 in 2020, according to research by Kings College London.
Since 2018, the language of "culture wars" has been a magnet for a wide range of issues: from views on lockdown to the removal of statues, from wearing a poppy or singing Rule Britannia to wearing a mask, any divisive topic is quickly dubbed a new "fault line" in the culture wars.
But what exactly is the culture war and is it real? If so who are the participants, what, if any, are journalisms's responsibilities in fuelling it? What should its role in addressing cultural issues be moving forward? and what could this mean for impartiality?
MODERATOR: Director of The Policy Institute at Kings College London
Bobby Duffy is Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute. He has worked across most public policy areas in his career of nearly 30 years in policy research and evaluation, including being seconded to the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.
Bobby also sits on several advisory boards including Chairing the Campaign for Social Science and the CLOSER Advisory Board, is a member of the Executive of the Academy of Social Sciences, and is a trustee of British Future and the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education. His first book, The Perils of Perception – Why we’re wrong about nearly everything, was published by Atlantic books in several countries, drawing on a set of global studies on how people misperceive key social realities. His latest book, Generations - Does when you’re born shape who you are?, came out in September 2021 and challenges myths and stereotypes around generational trends, seeking a greater understanding around generational challenges.
Emilio Casalicchio is a Political Correspondent for POLITICO Europe. He is based in Westminster and reports on the state of the parties and Britain after Brexit. Emilio has written about the Brexit process and the new approach to U.K. trade outside of the EU, as well as the tensions in Whitehall and the British culture wars. He also writes the London Playbook newsletter on Friday mornings. Before joining POLITICO in 2019, Emilio was the chief reporter at PoliticsHome. He started there in 2015 and wrote breaking news, as well as long-form interviews and features.
Gideon Skinner is a Research Director at the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, where he has worked since 1997. Gideon leads on research into cross-cutting issues that face all public services, such as public service reform, trust, and public sector reputation, as well as research into many political and social trends. He has contributed to published reports on customer satisfaction techniques for the Cabinet Office, co-authored a chapter for the Social Market Foundation’s book ‘Reinventing government again’, and edits the Understanding Society. He has presented data to Cabinet Ministers in the UK Government, and many senior civil servants as well as appearing on TV and radio to discuss public opinion on current affairs.
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