The Main Hall of the Scottish Parliament and various Committee Rooms are given over to five days of public discussions and debates on hot button issues such as euthanasia, privacy, the future of cities, obesity and food, land reform, discrimination in the workplace, and climate change.
With Edinburgh in full festival flow, comedians are everywhere (a third of the Fringe comprises of comedy). A panel, which includes Simon Fanshawe, Tommy Sheppard, owner of The Stand Comedy Club, and The Scotsman comedy critic Kate Copstick, will discuss whether comedy today has a blunter edge than in the heyday of political comedy in the '80s.
The Festival will also try to gauge the direction that we as a society are heading, with sessions on subjects such as Do Newspapers Have A Future?, while a panel will ask how successfully politicians are actually engaging with the public.
Musician and campaigner Annie Lennox returns to the festival to report on her SING Campaign, fighting HIV/AIDS in South Africa on Thur 19 Aug (Main Chamber, 6.30pm, £6.00/£3.50).
On the fourth day, 20 August, Festival of Politics Young People's Day (FOPYPD) encourages people to step up in the main chamber and give a two minute manifesto on how they would change things for the better. FOPYPD sessions in Committee Room 1 will also compare the impact of Old and New Media and how overseas conflicts affect children.
The festival closes with former Deputy prime-minister John Prescott being interviewed by Alex Fergusson MSP about "A Life In Politics" (Sat 21 Aug, 5pm, Main Chamber, tickets £6.00/£3.50 ).
Also showing is the World Press Photo Exhibition 2010, featuring work by some 62 photo-journalists.