International Debate is a new practitioner’s journal for members of the international debating community. We publish both opinion pieces and scholarly articles, on issues of relevance to debaters, coaches, and judges at the schools and university levels. We are particularly interested in the relationship between competitive debating and wider society, especially in so far as they relate to civic education and public culture. We welcome submissions from members of all debating communities, regardless of the format they debate in. Scholarly articles may be from any discipline or may be multi-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary in nature. We encourage all contributors.

We thank everyone for their patience and trust and we are delighted to launch this first e-edition of International Debate.

The Different Meanings of Debate

by Gareth Lim

Debating has meant many things to me over the years. My journey as a debater has had many ups and downs, but despite the countless weekends I have lost, I have never once regretted being a debater, because to deny debating would be to deny the very person that I am today.

The Role of Debate in Rwanda

by Nikitah Gaju

The communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills debate teaches are valuable to young people who are at the forefront of development. By opening doors to more training and competition grounds for Rwandan debaters, we hope to foster the talents needed to drive progress in Rwanda.

Arbitrary Debate: Assessing the Reliability of Debate Judges

by R. Eric Barnes & Christopher Doak

Our focus in this paper is on these questions: 1) How reliable are judges’ assignment of team points? 2) How reliable are judges’ assignment of speaker points? and, 3) How reliable are judges’ initial calls about a debate, before the deliberation begins?

Exploring Cultural Competence in the WSDC Community

by Cindi Timmons

While debating teams from six continents have been represented, the increasing variety of participants from non-Western nations and the growing diversity of the debaters themselves means that it is time for the global debating community to examine how inclusive it is and to evaluate its cultural competence as an organization. This paper seeks to address the current state of cultural competence in the organization and how WSDC might become even more inclusive.

Transitioning from 3-on-3 formats to British Parliamentary: A Guide for Asian Adjudicators

by Lucas Li

Figuring out how to win against three other teams – including one on your own bench – rather than one opponent is already hard enough for speakers. What more adjudicators who now have to evaluate a high degree of strategic interaction in addition to the substantive exchange! This paper seeks to address common teething issues that Asian adjudicators face when transitioning from 3-on-3 formats like World Schools or Asians, to the British Parliamentary format.

Sharing Insights as a Debate Educator

by Simona Mazilu

Teaching debate to both students and teachers, and training debate trainers was to become an essential part of my life, adding new and challenging dimensions to my career as an educator. This article offers insights into debating from the standpoint of an experienced educator, trainer and coach who works in both the European and World Schools circuits.

The Native Crux

by Laura Alviž

The article revolves around the issue of native speaker bias that most members of the debating community experience during their debating career, and proposes potential solutions for this problem and reaches the conclusion that a combination of several mechanisms may be able to mitigate the effects of the native speaker bias.

Listen to Diversity, Speak of Harmony

by Team Singapore 2017

This opinion piece was written by members of the team that represented Singapore at the World Schools Debating Championships 2017 in Bali, Indonesia. It deals with their journey preparing for and debating in the tournament, as well as their experience in dealing with adjudication feedback.