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.

youth on the brink of a watershed election

My CIRCLE colleagues are on a roll. Since October 9, they have released three reports based on their original national survey of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24: CIRCLE Poll: Youth Engagement in the 2018 Election Ahead of … Continue reading

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two approaches to social capital: Bourdieu vs. the American literature

The phrase “social capital” is used in (at least) two very different senses and discussions. One is an Anglophone discussion among social scientists who seem generally comfortable with a liberal market order. Important participants include James Coleman, Robert Putnam, Elinor … Continue reading

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curiosities from Wikipedia (an occasional series)

From the entry on Norfolk Island, pop. 1,748, which lies 877 miles from mainland Australia: This common heritage has led to a limited number of surnames among the islanders – a limit constraining enough that the island’s telephone directory also … Continue reading

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new CIRCLE youth survey: high youth engagement in the 2018 election

From today’s CIRCLE release: The 2018 midterms have the potential to be historic for youth political participation, with young people receiving campaign outreach, paying attention, and intending to vote at unusually high levels (34% “extremely likely” to vote) that come … Continue reading

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reforms for a broken Supreme Court

In the Republic of A, the highest appeals court may overturn legislation based on the text of an idealistic but short and vague constitution (without further appeal to the legislature), that court consists of just nine justices appointed for life, … Continue reading

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the regime that may be crumbling

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan would be pleased that Trump has signed a massive tax cut, presided over deregulation, and saved NAFTA by essentially reenacting it after running for president against it. Nevertheless, his worldview and his coalition are inconsistent … Continue reading

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defining equity and equality

You can find authoritative explanations of the differences between “equity” and “equality,” but I think the definitions of these words vary, and there is no objectively correct distinction. However, we can generalize a bit. To say that something is “equal” … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

was Lincoln trying to tell us something?

The penultimate paragraph of Lincoln’s “Lyceum Address” (Jan 27, 1838) [Memories of the sacrifices of the American Revolution] were the pillars of the temple of liberty; and now, that they have crumbled away, that temple must fall, unless we, their … Continue reading

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the pivotal youth vote in Ayanna Pressley’s election

Early this month, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley defeated incumbent Rep. Mike Capuano in the Democratic primary. CIRCLE’s analysis shows that Pressley performed best in precincts where young adults or people of color are most numerous. Those precincts also saw the … Continue reading

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the Massachusetts Citizens’ Initiative Review

[Press Release] – A 20-person panel of voters convened by the Massachusetts Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) pilot project has released its Citizens’ Statement on Question 1, the ballot question on nurse staffing limits. The Citizens’ Statement is intended to assist … Continue reading

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