Author Archives: Peter Levine

why young people don’t vote

This graph (using Census survey data from 2010) presents an interesting contrast: College students are much more likely to cite being out of town or away from home as the reason they didn’t vote. That make sense: they tend to … Continue reading

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the ideological position of a pro-democracy campaign

Paul Evans, a democracy advocate in the UK, is intrigued by our Campaign for Stronger Democracy and explores the need for a similar coalition in his country. The British have Liberty, a major lobby for human rights and civil liberties, … Continue reading

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the university, a bud forever green

This is the beginning of Section II of William Carlos Williams’ long poem Paterson (1946), which is a kind of portrait of the author’s home city in New Jersey. Robert Lowell confidently says that the “bud forever green / tight-curled, … Continue reading

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the promise and perils of volunteering

(Washington, DC): In lieu of a separate blog post, here is an interview of me with Youth Volunteer Corps. A few excerpts: Do you have any anecdotal and/or quantifiable information about the impact that diversity has on the success of … Continue reading

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a ten-point plan for civic renewal

In 2006, I proposed a Ten Point Plan for Civic Renewal: a set of policy proposals for the federal government. Reviewing that list recently, I found that one item had been accomplished (the expansion of AmeriCorps, only recently put in … Continue reading

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how to save the Enlightenment Ideal

If there is such a thing as the “Enlightenment Ideal,” it says that individuals should hold general, publicly articulable, and correct moral principles that, in turn, guide all their opinions, statements, and actions. That is a view that–with some variations–Kant, … Continue reading

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young people and the Osama bin Laden news

Yesterday, I was on KCBS radio news in San Francisco discussing why spontaneous public celebrations of the death of Osama bin Laden seem to draw mainly young adults. (A typical headline is this, from the New York Times: “9/11 Inspires … Continue reading

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some surprising results from the 2010 NAEP Civics assessment

The headline in The New York Times says: Failing Grades on Civics Exam Called a ‘Crisis’. Whether that’s how you read the data is a matter of opinion, but I can shed a little light on the source. The National … Continue reading

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youth volunteering rate much higher than in the 1970s and ’80s

At CIRCLE, we often receive questions about the youth volunteering rate today compared to past generations. The following graph, based on Census data, shows that young people are considerably more likely to volunteer than they were in 1974 or 1989, … Continue reading

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the case for civic renewal

Below are the first paragraphs of a new article by me in the centennial issue of the National Civic Review.* They are also the first paragraphs of a book that is just about complete. I argue that certain types of … Continue reading

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