Welcome to the 8th edition of the Monash Debating Review. The MDR is a
multi-disciplinary, peer reviewed journal that addresses issues of interest to
debaters. Our International Editorial Board helped us solicit submissions from
across the globe, and we hope that the MDR assists in furthering discussion
among the debating community, and provides different perspectives on classic
In this issue, Tim Sonnreich looks at how to make arguments from First
Principles, and how understanding the basics of First Principles can help you
become a better debater. Douglas Cochran looks Liberalism in debating, and
ways to challenge it. He suggests some ways of deploying Marxist, Classical
Conservative and Libertarian arguments. Daniel Schut introduces Pragma-
Dialetics to the practice of judging debates, and shows how it can be useful.
Reading these articles will be useful to debaters and judges of all levels of
experience. They suggest new arguments, new approaches, and new ways to
think about old issues.
The piece by Leela Koening and Maja Nenadovic uncovers some of the
problems teaching debating in Democratizing Countries. By looking at their
experiences in Kosovo, they show some problems teaching debating that most
of us will never experience. Daniel Berman’s article looks at populism in
debating. Drawing on the Tea Party Movement, and the US Debating Circuit,
he looks at ways of understanding populism, and explains its limited appeal in
The final article, by Steve Llano, is something a little bit different from our
other submissions. He looks at Zen Buddhism and debating. He argues that
debating practice should extend to the transformation and improvement of the
whole person. We are sure that you will all find it as interesting and stimulating
as we did.
We hope that you all enjoy reading the articles, and find them varied, and adds
to your understanding and appreciation of debating!
Harish Natarajan, Editor, IONA
Paralabh Gupta, Associate Editor, Oceania
Andy Hume, Associate Editor, Asia
Padraic Ryan, Associate Editor, North America