Author Archives: Peter

About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.

you can go home again

(Syracuse, NY) I’m in the city where I was born and raised but haven’t resided in 33 years.  One result of this kind of visit is to make the intervening years fold away like a picture book put back on … Continue reading

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armchair quarterbacking Chuck and Nancy

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer left the White House with a priceless quote from Donald Trump:   And I’ll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security … So I will take the mantle. I … Continue reading

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Cooperative Congressional Election Study and Tisch College of Civic Life: Postdoctoral Fellowship

Tufts University will award a Post-Doctoral Fellowship to a scholar with expertise in American political behavior and survey data analysis for the 2019-20 academic year. The Fellowship is partly funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation and will … Continue reading

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against inevitability

These are examples of social theories that emphasize inevitability: Classical Marxism: “[The bourgeoisie’s] fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.” — Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto Rational choice theory: What defines the tragedy of the commons … Continue reading

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Defending the Truth: An Activist’s Guide to Fighting Foreign Disinformation Warfare

(Dayton, OH) I recommend Maciej Bartkowski’s Defending the Truth: An Activist’s Guide to Fighting Foreign Disinformation Warfare from the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict. It’s free, concise, practical, and inspiring. Some examples of advice: Establish local networks that can be rapidly activated to … Continue reading

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the justice-oriented citizen had better be personally responsible and participatory

Joel Westheimer’s and Joe Kahne’s typology of civic education programs and their intended outcomes is justly seminal in the field of civic education.* Many civics people are familiar with their distinctions among “personally responsible,” “participatory” and “justice-oriented” citizens as the … Continue reading

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democracy is coming to the USA

Here is the racial/ethnic composition of the Democratic House caucus for the next Congress.* I do not display this ratio to endorse the Democrats (or to ignore the people of color who are GOP House members), but simply because the … Continue reading

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14 kinds of research we need for #reducinginequality

I leave a WT Grant Foundation grantees’ meeting on Reducing Inequality with a rough mental list of types of research that we need: Descriptive research on what is unequal, for whom, where. Causal research on what promotes inequality or inequality, … Continue reading

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how to present mixed-methods research

(Washington, DC) I’m at a W.T. Grant Foundation grantees’ meeting on “reducing inequality” and currently listening to Tim Guetterman (University of Michigan) talking about mixed-methods research. Proponents and advanced practitioners of mixed-methods research form a community that is thinking hard … Continue reading

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a discussion of Civic Studies at Tufts

Here is a recent discussion of Civic Studies. The audience was Tufts alumni. The speakers (from left to right) are Tisch College’s Associate Dean Diane Ryan; Prof. Hilary Binda, who runs the Tufts University Prison Initiative at Tisch College; Prof. Alnoor … Continue reading

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