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Persuasion in an Age of Polarisation, with Anand Giridharadas

How our societies have lost the art of persuasion

The lifeblood of any free society is healthy disagreement: people with different views trying to change each other’s minds through argument and persuasion. But many democracies across the world are suffering a crisis of faith in the values of debate and have instead turned to writing off those who disagree with them.

In December 2022 Anand Giridharadas came to Intelligence Squared to discuss how our societies lost the art of persuasion. Drawing on his new book The Persuaders, he took us inside the movements at the heart of the culture wars. From Black Lives Matter to Trumpism, Giridharadas highlighted the intense pressure to conform to ideas and highlight the dissenters who continue to champion persuasion and healthy disagreement in an age of polarisation.



Anand Giridharadas

Editor-at-large for TIME magazine. Author of 'Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World'

Editor-at-large for TIME magazine, political analyst for MSNBC, and author of The New York Times bestseller Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing The World. He is a former columnist for The New York Times and is a vocal supporter of the US Democratic Party's progressive wing. His new book is The Persuaders: Winning Hearts and Minds in a Divided Age.

Helen Czerski

One of the UK’s most popular science presenters

British oceanographer, physicist and television presenter. Her many programmes for radio and TV include Radio 4’s Inside Science, Orbit: Earth’s Extraordinary Journey, numerous Horizon documentaries, The Sky at Night, and Dara O Briain’s Science Club. She is a Research Fellow at University College London, and holds a PhD in experimental explosives physics. She is the author of Storm In A Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life. She gave the 2020 Royal Institution's annual Christmas lecture on the workings of the world's oceans and how they serve as the heart of our planetary life support system.