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.

new research on youth and nonviolence

While the student anti-gun student movement attracts national attention, two new publications have arrived in my inbox that address youth engagement in nonviolent social movements. Both depict youth as peacemakers rather than victims or perpetrators of violence, but both require … Continue reading

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youth voting on All Things Considered

Excerpts from “All Things Considered” (March 29): Barbara Howard  interviewing my colleague and our CIRCLE director, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg: BH: It seems like with these rallies last weekend, there was a real crackling in the air. People registering kids right there at the … Continue reading

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the emperor’s new wall

Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL! pic.twitter.com/pmCNoxxlkH — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018 Donald Trump says that his border wall is being built; yesterday, he even tweeted pictures of it. Today he … Continue reading

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from I to we: an outline of a theory

These are the main ideas that I’ve defended (or plan to develop) in my theoretical scholarship. They are organized from micro to macro and from ethics to politics. As always, I put this draft online to welcome critical feedback. Each … Continue reading

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the 2018 Youth Electoral Significance Index (YESI)

From CIRCLE today: CIRCLE’s updated Youth Electoral Significance Index (YESI) is a valuable tool for any individual, campaign, organization, or institution that seeks to increase youth political engagement. Earlier this month, we highlighted the top 10 congressional districts where young people might … Continue reading

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talking about student activism on Under the Radar with Callie Crossley

I was on WGBH’s “Under the Radar” today with host Callie Crossley and an excellent student activist named Victoria Massey, who is a senior at Charlestown High School and a member of the Hyde Square Task Force community organizing group. The segment … Continue reading

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should Democrats play constitutional hardball in 2019-20?

In How Democracies Die, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt use comparative evidence to argue that democracies rely on two “soft guardrails”: constitutional forbearance and mutual toleration.* Forbearance means that political actors refrain from using all the powers that the written … Continue reading

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how information relates to power, according to C.V. Wedgewood

C.V. (Veronica) Wedgewood’s The Thirty Years War is almost a century old, but it remains an inexhaustible source of insights. TaNahisi Coates loves it, too: “Take this for whatever it’s worth but she writes better than any historian I’ve ever … Continue reading

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Nicole Doerr, Political Translation: How Social Movement Democracies Survive

A century ago, Robert Michels observed what he called the “Iron Law of Oligarchy” at work in the socialist and revolutionary labor parties and movements of Europe. He argued that these groups provided “the best field of observation” for the … Continue reading

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come work at CIRCLE (and two other great jobs involving civic engagement)

We are hiring a researcher for the CIRCLE team, which I supervise. Researcher – Tisch College – (18001131) The Researcher will work with CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement), a research-based think tank that studies how young … Continue reading

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