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.

coming soon: Democracy’s Discontent and Civic Learning

Now available for pre-ordering is Charles S. White (ed.), Democracy’s Discontent and Civic Learning: Multiple Perspectives. Chapters include: “The Populist Moment,” by William A. Galston. “Populism, Democracy, and the Education of Citizens,” by Thomas S. Vontz and J. Spencer Clark, (with Stephen … Continue reading

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

new survey on Americans’ views of democracy

(Salt Lake City, Utah) Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement have released a new national survey on Americans’ attitudes toward democracy. The headline finding is that Americans value democratic norms–regardless … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

convicted by their conscience: the rule of law, judgment, and writing in The New Testament

John 8:3-11: 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, The “scribes and Pharisees” arrive as an undifferentiated group. They act in concert. No names or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

why autocrats are winning (right now) #DemFront #DemFront18

During the opening session of Frontiers of Democracy last night, Hardy Merriman from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict showed this graph from Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan. It shows that nonviolent social movements were strikingly successful at achieving their own stated objectives … Continue reading

Posted in democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment

civic education that is less about the state

We are completing the tenth (!) annual Summer Institute of Civic Studies, which revolves around the three schools of civic theory outlined below. (Each “school” encompasses diverse views and criticisms.) Today we talked about what these theories would mean for … Continue reading

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

the prospects for an evangelical turn against Trump

Not long after Donald Trump’s inauguration, I met with a conservative evangelical pastor near his church in a small city in one of the most conservative of the Southern states. He told me how deeply he despised and feared the … Continue reading

Posted in Trump, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

federal research funding available for civics

US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES): FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR R&D and EVALUATION in SOCIAL STUDIES IES has released its 2019 Request for Applications (RFA) through its Research Grants Program. See: The RFA includes a new Special Topic for Social Studies … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sessions and the fate of Herod

In case you missed it, Jeff Sessions defended his policy of seizing children at the border with the words, “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

call for papers: New England Philosophy of Education Society

The New England Philosophy of Education Society will meet at Tufts on Oct. 20, co-sponsored by Tisch College. Proposals are due on July 15, emailed to More details here. The theme is the “Self in Relation: Ways of Knowing, Naming, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

can the arts mitigate the harms of gentrification? A project in Boston’s Chinatown

I’m working with an interdisciplinary team* on a project that’s investigating whether an arts center in Boston’s Chinatown can mitigate the negative effects of gentrification in that neighborhood. This research is funded by the NEA and by Tufts (through a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment