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.

when social advantage persists for millennia

Consider: In Florence, many of the wealthiest taxpaying families in 1421 are still the wealthiest families today. The very top earner in 2011 is descended from a guild member who was in the 97th percentile in 1421. In between came Medici rule, … Continue reading

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two cheers for the West

The defeat of Marianne Le Pen is a victory for the European Union; and the EU is one of the structures built in the wake of World War II either directly or indirectly by the Western Allies in that war. In … Continue reading

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White racial resentment and the 2016 election

Yesterday, I got to hear Michael Tesler present about his forthcoming book with John Sides and Lynn Vavreck: Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America. I don’t want to give away the content based on … Continue reading

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the remarkable budget deal

Many have been rightly alarmed by the Trump Administration’s commitments to terminate programs related to scholarship and science, aspects of k-16 education, environmental and climate research, and national and community service. The critical response from citizens has been appropriate and welcome. … Continue reading

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Mozart illustrates the importance of “bids” in romantic relationships

The psychologist John Gottman discovered a fundamental condition of successful romantic relationships (which is consistent with my experience of 21 happy years of marriage). Partners frequently make “bids” for positive attention. Emily Esfahani Smith illustrates with an example: “the husband … Continue reading

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was the Civil Rights Movement successful because of the Cold War?

It’s widely argued that the federal government made concessions on civil rights between 1945 and 1970 because blatant racial oppression was embarrassing during the global struggle against communism. Doug McAdam illustrates this argument by noting the “stark contrast” between FDR and Truman on issues … Continue reading

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A new resource from CIRCLE: Reaching All Youth Strengthens Engagement (RAYSE)

(San Antonio) My CIRCLE colleagues have produced a user-friendly online tool called Reaching All Youth Strengthens Engagement (RAYSE). It provides information about youth voters (and potential voters) in every county of the US. It’s meant to help organizations and movements … Continue reading

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the impact of post 9/11 war on our politics

(San Antonio, TX) Any effort to understand the current political situation must take seriously the fact that we have been war since 2001. Although it’s problematic to assess wars as won or lost, that’s a hard framework to avoid; and … Continue reading

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agenda for Frontiers of Democracy

Frontiers of Democracy will take place this June 22-24, 2017 in Boston. It is hosted by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, with the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Everyday Democracy, the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, and the … Continue reading

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what gives some research methods legitimacy?

I’m back from a meeting of people who practice and advocate mixed-methods research (research that integrates quantitative and qualitative data). They have identified barriers or biases against such work. Editors and reviewers tend to be either quantitative or qualitative experts, … Continue reading

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