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.

on the Deep State, the administrative state, and the civil service

The last few days have seen several prominent articles about “the Deep State”: by David Remnick in the New Yorker, Marc Ambinder in The Washington Post, Julie Hirschfeld Davis in the New York Times, and Kevin Williamson in The National Review, … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Millennials’ political opinions: insights from the new CIRCLE poll

In November’s election, youth turnout seems to have been roughly on par with recent elections. Young voters preferred Clinton to Trump by 55% to 37%, but a majority of young whites chose Trump. See the full CIRCLE post-election report based on … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, Trump, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

microgenetic, ontogenetic, and sociogenetic civic learning

At a Center for Ethics & Education conference last week in Kansas City, I learned from Larry Nucci about an important taxonomy. In my summary: Microgenetic learning means obtaining particular knowledge, skills, concepts, values, etc. through particular experiences. A student doesn’t know about … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education, civic theory, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

public speaking this spring

Please join me if you’re able and interested: March 10, Medford, MA: Fletcher Political Risk conference, morning concurrent session on varieties of populism. March 24, Boston, MA: Northeastern University’s NULab for Texts, Maps and Networks, keynote at a conference on “Keeping the Public … Continue reading

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school choice is a question of values not data

I disagree with my friend Robert Pondiscio about many policies, but I agree with an essential aspect of his argument in a US News article entitled “Asking the Wrong Questions on School Choice.” Some impressive-looking recent studies assert that school choice doesn’t “work” … Continue reading

Posted in education policy | Leave a comment

hearing the faint music of democracy

Democracy has many inherent flaws. This is just the start of a comprehensive list: Majority tyranny: the many may oppress the few. Free-riding: it doesn’t pay to be informed or active when you can let others engage instead. Propaganda: it works. … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, populism | 1 Comment

The Civic State of the Union

The Civic State of the Union Tuesday, March 7 | 6:00 p.m. ASEAN Auditorium, Fletcher School | Tufts Medford Campus Join us for a panel about the state of civic life in the United States and the role of civic engagement in addressing … Continue reading

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new postdoc in civic studies

Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life Postdoctoral Fellowship in Philosophy or Political Theory Tufts University’s Tisch College, in collaboration with the departments of Philosophy and of Political Science, will award a Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life Postdoctoral … Continue reading

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what it means that people prefer a businessman to a politician for president

The contrast between Donald Trump the businessman and Hillary Clinton the politician has been underplayed (although not entirely overlooked) as an explanation of the 2016 election. I don’t interpret Americans’ admiration for business leaders as a preference for the market over … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, Trump | Leave a comment

assessing the congressional town meeting protests, 2009 and 2017

In 2009, when Democratic House members went home to discuss the Affordable Care Act with their constituents, they faced disruptive questions and protests, often from people loosely affiliated with the Tea Party. The protesters cited such supposed evils as Death … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation, revitalizing the left, Trump, Uncategorized | Leave a comment