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.

anxieties of influence

Emerson, Lowell, cummings, and Plath, Stevens, Roethke, Frost, MacLeish, and Hall, Ashbery, Bishop, Eliot and Rich– I write them down in verse, shuffling their names To fill my lines, making them my material, They who took all the words I … Continue reading

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the value of diversity and discussion within social movements

If you want a more deliberative society–one in which diverse people discuss and learn before (and while) they act politically–you’re not going to accomplish it simply by promoting deliberation. Too many people are understandably motivated by specific agendas, and too … Continue reading

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Governor Charlie Baker signs Massachusetts civic education law

A press release from the the Massachusetts Civic Learning Coalition (of which I’m a member): The Coalition applauds Governor Charlie Baker for signing into law bill S.2631, giving Massachusetts one of the nation’s most innovative statewide civic education programs. The … Continue reading

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youth turnout up 10 points, youth opt for Democrats to an unprecedented degree

These two graphs from CIRCLE tell the story of youth in the 2018 election. First, turnout rose dramatically. The blue line shows estimates of youth turnout using the only method that’s available immediately after an election. CIRCLE relies on the … Continue reading

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working against gerrymandering

At Tisch College and Tufts, we are extremely proud of Moon Duchin and her team in the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering group. This new video takes less than two minutes to play and introduces their work: Moon and her colleagues … Continue reading

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2020 will also be tough for Senate Democrats

In 2016, everyone thinks the Senate “map” is terrible for Democrats. Forty-two Republican incumbents don’t face an election this year, whereas Democrats must defend 24 incumbents, 10 of them in states that Donald Trump won in 2016–sometimes by very large … Continue reading

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courses that count for the Civic Studies major in spring 2019

More on the Civic Studies major at Tufts is here. Required Introductory Course: CVS 0020/PHIL 0020/PS 0020: Introduction to Civic Studies (Erin Kelly, Peter Levine)  Thinking about Justice: ANTH 140: Food Justice: Fair Food Activism and Social Movements (Alex Blanchette) CVS … Continue reading

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youth vote 2018: what to expect and how to interpret the data

In The Washington Post, Amy Gardner reads some tea leaves that might foretell youth turnout in November. On one hand, the good news: “In Pennsylvania, youth voters have made up nearly 60 percent of all new registrants, Target­Smart reported in … Continue reading

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Center on Democracy and Organizing Summer Institute 2019

I’m posting the following announcement with my enthusiastic recommendation. The Principal Investigators of the Center for Democracy and Organizing are the extraordinarily talented and engaged scholars Lisa Garcia Bedolla, Hahrie Han, and Taeku Lee. More information here. The Center on … Continue reading

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Justice O’Connor and civics

I’m sorry to read that Justice O’Connor has dementia. She has devoted her retirement years to improving civics, and she has taken that objective fully seriously. Her greatest contribution is the nonprofit organization she founded to teach civics through video … Continue reading

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