Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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

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ambition: pro or con?

How should we think about ambition? Here are four possibilities: It’s basically a sin. According to the OED, “ambicioun” already appears in 1449 on a list of “vicis” (vices), right between “pride,” and “vein glorie.” It’s the selfish desire to … Continue reading

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article about the Civic Studies major

“Civic Studies Major Begins in the Fall: The new program will combine academics and civic engagement,” by Helene Ragovin in Tufts Now: Since the university’s founding, civic engagement and rigorous academics have been “deeply embedded in Tufts’ DNA,” says Tisch College’s … Continue reading

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Gandhi on the primacy of means over ends

I don’t think that Gandhi really said, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” but he did hold a challenging view of the relationship between means (or strategies) and ends. “Be the change” could serve as a … Continue reading

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the new Two Cultures

In 1959, C.P. Snow thought he observed “two cultures” in universities and intellectual life. “At one pole we have the literary intellectuals, at the other scientists, and as the most representative, the physical scientists. Between the two a gulf of … Continue reading

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getting to 80% voter turnout

I’m attending “Getting to 80%: A Symposium Advancing Voter Participation,” a discussion of the “moonshot” goal of raising US voter turnout to 80% (It’s at the Harvard Kennedy School.) The historical context is not easy to find online, so here … Continue reading

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deliberation or simulated deliberation? choices for the classroom

In an article published today (“Deliberation or Simulated Deliberation?” in Democracy and Education, 26, 1, Article 7), I respond to a valuable previous piece by Margaret S. Crocco and her colleagues, “Deliberating Public Policy Issues with Adolescents: Classroom Dynamics and Sociocultural Considerations.” … Continue reading

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Trump at the confluence of populism, chauvinism, and celebrity

Donald Trump says many things. Some are innocuous and banal. Quite a few are inconsistent. And some provide evidence that he belongs in these three categories: A “populist” in the particular sense proposed by Jan-Werner Müller. (I also like to … Continue reading

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May 3-4 Conference: Creating Civic Competence: the Critical Challenges

The New Civics Early Career Scholars’ Program & The Civic and Moral Education Initiative in partnership with The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics invite you to a conference on Creating Civic Competence: the Critical Challenges. May 3-4 Larsen Hall Harvard Graduate School of Education Preparing youth … Continue reading

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