Claire Fox is the director of the Institute of Ideas (IoI), which she established to create a public space where ideas can be contested without constraint. Claire initiated the IoI while co-publisher of the controversial and ground-breaking current affairs journal LM magazine (formerly Living Marxism). The IoI has since worked with a variety of prestigious institutions in Britain and abroad. Claire convenes the IoI’s flagship event, the yearly Battle of Ideas festival, which takes place in London in October. The IoI has also established the prestigious Debating Matters competition for sixth form students in the UK and India under Claire’s direction.
Claire is a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze and is regularly invited to comment on developments in culture, education, politics and the arts across the whole range of media outlets: such as BBC Question Time, BBC Any Questions?, SkyNews Review, and BBC Breakfast. Claire writes regularly for national newspapers and a range of specialist journals. She has a monthly column in the MJ (municipal journal) and presented ‘Claire Fox News’ on the internet TV channel ‘18 Doughty Street’.
Claire previously worked as a mental health social worker and as a lecturer in English literature. She was a judge on the panel for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006 (download her speech given to the 2006 Orange Prize Libraries Seminar) and features in the ‘Who’s Who’ almanac 2007. Claire was number 64 in Time Out’s 2006 London Movers and Shakers list, and was named the capital’s No.3 activist. Claire also features in the Telegraph‘s list of Britain’s 100 most influential people on the Left.
Claire has a particular interest in education and social issues such as crime and mental health. She opposes ‘youth voice’ initiatives as patronising and an abdication of adult responsibility, is an advocate of a liberal arts and academic curriculum for all school pupils, and is a fierce opponent of the politicisation of and interference into the curriculum for social or policy ends.
She is highly critical of authoritarian developments such as New Labour’s ‘antisocial behaviour orders’, any form of restriction on free speech, the erosion of civil liberties and attempts to manage and ‘nudge’ the public’s behaviour. She is also a passionate supporter of the arts, and strongly believes that they should be valued for their own sake rather than as instrumental means to social ends. Claire wrote No strings attached! Why Arts Funding should say no to instrumentalism for Arts & Business (4 July 2007) to lay out her opposition to instrumentalism in ther arts.
"Without ideas forged in the clash of opposition - there is no way forward. The Battle of Ideas is a must do event."
Lynne Featherstone MP, Liberal Democrats