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.

what it looks like to live

She’s all cheekbones, lashes, emotions Conveyed in rapid succession, practiced. Cut to his reaction, the impact on his famous Face, bathed in a warm and flattering light. Then they’re running athletically away, Silhouettes diving before the fireball. This is living. … Continue reading

Posted in verse and worse | Leave a comment

podcast: “can young people revive civic engagement?”

(LaGuardia Airport) Michael Berkman, Chris Beem, and Jenna Spinelle from the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State recently interviewed me for their podcast series, “Democracy Works.” We talked about young people, the 2018 election, and social movements. Here’s the audio. … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 election, audio and video | Leave a comment

“to you and I”

I think I’m noticing more and more people using “I” instead of “me” when it’s the object of a verb, as in “Please give it to Joe and I.” This may have started as an over-correction. Kids are taught not … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Philip, Hannah, and Heinrich: a Play

“[Philip] Roth, who passed away last week, will be spending a lot of time with Arendt now, as he will be buried near her in the Bard College cemetery. According to an anecdote related by Bard’s President, Leon Botstein, Roth … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized, verse and worse | Leave a comment

polycentricity: the case for a (very) mixed economy

I haven’t really studied Quinn Slobodian’s history of neo-liberalism, Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism, nor Nancy MacLean’s Democracy In Chains: The Deep History Of The Radical Right’s Stealth Plan For America. I am following the controversy about the latter, … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

outline of a session on civic agency

This morning, I enjoyed working with an impressive group of Rwandan professionals (academics, clinicians and others). The outline of the session could work for other groups and is “open source”–available for anyone to borrow. I open with my formula that … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment

notes on cultural appropriation after the royal wedding

In the current debate about “cultural appropriation,” I would offer these premises: everything is mixed, mixing is good, having your culture borrowed can give you more power, and demands for authenticity are problematic. Although I recognize exceptions and complications, we should … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bologna, Santiago de Cali, and Tulsa win Cities of Service’ first Engaged Cities Award

I enjoyed serving on the selection committee for Cities of Service’s inaugural Engaged Cities Award and reading many superb applications. The winners were announced today. From the announcement: Bologna, Italy: Realizing that bureaucracy was hindering citizens’ ability to improve their city, … Continue reading

Posted in democratic reform overseas | Leave a comment

support civics in Massachusetts #CivicsforMA #MAcivicsforall

Right now is a “virtual advocacy day” for Massachusetts S.2375, “an act to promote and enhance civic engagement. I’m doing my bit by blogging in support of the law–which will also need an adequate appropriation. The bill would: Require that … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education | Leave a comment

where youth stand on the 2018 election

On April 30, Reuters drew attention with the headline, “Exclusive: Democrats lose ground with millennials – Reuters/Ipsos poll.” The basis was a pair of online surveys of more than 16,000 registered voters under age 35 conducted in 2016 and 2018. … Continue reading

Posted in 2018 election | Leave a comment