Civil Society: Enabling Dissent - joint oD/Carnegie event

Clare Coatman
15 July 2009

St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

4:30pm-6:30pm, Tuesday 28 July 2009

(Tea and coffee served from 4:15pm)

The Carnegie UK Trust Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in the UK and Ireland and Open Democracy are delighted to invite you to an event to explore the role of civil society associations in creating and supporting spaces for dissenting voices, both in the UK and globally.

In 2007, the Carnegie UK Trust Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society undertook an extensive futures exercise to explore the possible future threats to and opportunities for civil society, looking out to 2025. Contributors to the futures work highlighted the marginalisation of dissent and diminishing spaces for public deliberation as key concerns. This event will draw on these concerns and consider the various ways in which dissent is marginalised resulting from factors such as threats to civil liberties and anti-terror legislation, the behaviour of media or self-suppression on the part of civil society associations themselves. Key questions that the speakers will address include: What are the roles of civil society associations in enabling dissent? Where are the key areas where dissent is marginalised? What factors enable or inhibit dissent? What practical steps should be taken to support spaces for dissenting voices?

The event will be chaired by Anthony Barnett (founder of openDemocracy.net, Co-Director of the Convention on Modern Liberty and Co-Chair of Real Change: the open politics network). Speakers include: Kumi Naidoo (Visiting Fellow at the Carnegie UK Trust, Honorary President of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and Co-Chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty campaign), Sunny Hundal (Editor of Liberal Conspiracy, journalist, commentator, blogger and activist), Reverend Malcolm Carroll, (Greenpeace campaigner and Baptist minister) and Fran Bennett (Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford and independent consultant).

The Inquiry has hosted two other events on the theme of dissent in Dublin and in Glasgow. Findings from these events can be found at the Inquiry web pages, Marginalisation of Dissent. For your information, we are also attaching information about the Inquiry’s work.

Places at this event are limited. To book your place please email Catherine at [email protected] by 20 July 2009. To find out more about the Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society please visit www.futuresforcivilsociety.org

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