Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mozart illustrates the importance of “bids” in romantic relationships

The psychologist John Gottman discovered a fundamental condition of successful romantic relationships (which is consistent with my experience of 21 happy years of marriage). Partners frequently make “bids” for positive attention. Emily Esfahani Smith illustrates with an example: “the husband … Continue reading

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was the Civil Rights Movement successful because of the Cold War?

It’s widely argued that the federal government made concessions on civil rights between 1945 and 1970 because blatant racial oppression was embarrassing during the global struggle against communism. Doug McAdam illustrates this argument by noting the “stark contrast” between FDR and Truman on issues … Continue reading

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A new resource from CIRCLE: Reaching All Youth Strengthens Engagement (RAYSE)

(San Antonio) My CIRCLE colleagues have produced a user-friendly online tool called Reaching All Youth Strengthens Engagement (RAYSE). It provides information about youth voters (and potential voters) in every county of the US. It’s meant to help organizations and movements … Continue reading

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the impact of post 9/11 war on our politics

(San Antonio, TX) Any effort to understand the current political situation must take seriously the fact that we have been war since 2001. Although it’s problematic to assess wars as won or lost, that’s a hard framework to avoid; and … Continue reading

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agenda for Frontiers of Democracy

Frontiers of Democracy will take place this June 22-24, 2017 in Boston. It is hosted by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, with the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Everyday Democracy, the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, and the … Continue reading

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what gives some research methods legitimacy?

I’m back from a meeting of people who practice and advocate mixed-methods research (research that integrates quantitative and qualitative data). They have identified barriers or biases against such work. Editors and reviewers tend to be either quantitative or qualitative experts, … Continue reading

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loyalty in intellectual work

(Los Angeles) Academics and scholars most commonly relate to institutions, movements, or fields of practice by assessing them. They identify the underlying theory or rationale of a given practical effort and assess its plausibility and its consistency with principles of justice. They also … Continue reading

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European Summer Institute of Civic Studies, this August in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

The Summer Institute of Civic Studies will take place in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, from July, 31st to August, 12th 2017 (at the Chernivtsi Yuri-Fedkovych-University). The Summer Institute of Civic Studies is organized by a team from Tufts University (Prof. Peter Levine), … Continue reading

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Ostrom, Habermas, and Gandhi are all we need

(Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) Back in 2014, I argued: [Elinor] “Ostrom plus [Jürgen] Habermas is nearly all we need.” I define a good citizen as anyone who seriously asks the question “What should we do?” Citizens face a dizzying variety of hard … Continue reading

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why do students sometimes lead social change?

(Cincinnati) At several critical points during the past century, college students have been at the vanguard of social change. Their agendas have not always been desirable; fascism, for example, had a student wing. But student activism is an important phenomenon. I think four frames … Continue reading

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