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The Global Uncertainties Schools Network was set up by the Academy of Ideas’ Debating Matters Competition in partnership with the Research Councils UK (RCUK) programme ‘Global Uncertainties: Security for all in a Changing World’. This web site provides a wide range of resources – from expert opinion pieces to head-to-head exchanges and Topic Guides – which provide a thorough introduction into important debates surrounding the issues of terrorism, cyber-security and ideologies and beliefs.


Following an initial series of debating events hosted by schools in the network, students from those schools entered into a series of written head-to-head exchanges with one another. These exchanges were judged and commented upon by panels of opinion formers and experts in the field. The winning exchanges are published below and provide further useful resources for teachers and students interested in debating and discussing the key arguments that will have a defining impact on how society responds to critical questions about liberty and security.

Read exchange (pdf format): Terrorism and civil liberties

Read exchange (pdf format): Online privacy

TERRORISM Since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, terrorism has been a major concern worldwide. Are the terrorists simply fanatics to be defeated, or is terrorism a consequence of real global injustices? Can we prevent terrorism without undermining civil liberties?

CYBER-SECURITY The internet has transformed the way we live, work and play but has also presented us with new threats to our security. Do the risks outweigh the benefits and what should be the balance between freedom and security online?

IDEOLOGIES & BELIEFS Extreme political and religious beliefs have become a central concern of the 21st century, most clearly with the threat of terrorism. How should society respond to extremist ideas and beliefs?


"Religious Conflict"

"Civil Liberties, Open Justice and Protection from Terrorism"



"Civil Liberties and Terrorism"


"Simcox vs Fisher"

"Glees vs Hayes"


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