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ECLA is, first of all, a place for intellectual work. The focus on value problems, however, invites us to take an interest in thoughtful practice as well. The most obvious curricular example of this interest is the annual STATE OF THE WORLD WEEK. This event, held in the second term, brings together students, faculty, alumni and invited guests for the exploration of an important, perhaps urgent, theme in current affairs. Lectures and seminars are given not just by academics, but by politicians, artists, social reformers, diplomats, lawyers, journalists and other people who spend their (professional) lives in close practical contact with the fundamental issues studied theoretically at ECLA. It is assumed that the voices of thoughtful experience will enrich theoretical discussions, and that theory may in turn inform practice.

Recent State of the World Week topics included: What Shall We Eat? (2011), The Translator (2010), The Politics of Cultural Ownership (2009), Water (2008) and Social Entrepreneurship (2007). Twice, in 2007 and 2008, the event won a UNESCO award for education in sustainable development.

This year's State of the World Week, 6-10 February 2012, focuses on the topic of CENSORSHIP.