Monthly Archives: May 2006

youth media

I’m still in Seattle for an academic conference on youth media. I’m struck by how essentially normative (value-laden) our definitions of “politics” and “civic engagement” are. Ask yourself whether the following behaviors are “political”? It depends on whether you think … Continue reading

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taking back the culture

(Seattle) Here’s a speech for a presidential candidate in ’08: “American popular culture is hurting us. It subjects our children to explicit sexuality and violence. It’s relentlessly consumerist and materialist. It tells the rest of the world that we are … Continue reading

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beachfront property

Via Crooked Timber: Alex Tingle has created a great online gizmo that allows you to see how much dry land will vanish as seawater rises by x meters. A rise of 14 meters (the maximum Tingle allows) would put the … Continue reading

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Meier and Ravitch show the way

Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch have an article in Education Week entitled “Bridging Differences.” Meier is a hero for many progressive educators; her small schools in East Harlem are democratic communities that give significant voice to students and faculty in … Continue reading

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smoking me out

I’m in Dayton, OH, for a seminar at the Kettering Foundation. I had written a chapter last fall describing the interaction of two generations on our college campuses. I wrote that some Boomer professors (ex-participants in the tumultuous sixties and … Continue reading

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New Voices

The New Voices project at J-Lab makes small grants to citizen groups to create news media. I’ve served on the selection committee. There is a nice 3-minute video about some of the grantees on the Knight Foundation website. Bookmark on … Continue reading

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the power of community organizing

Yesterday, I showed the correlation between economic development and political participation. I also pointed to some cases–South Africa, India, Tanzania–in which there was more participation than one would expect given the level of development. All three countries are famous for … Continue reading

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political participation and economic success

It probably won’t surprise you that there’s a positive relationship between political participation and social/economic development. In countries where people are doing better (living longer, attending more years of school, spending more money), they also vote, protest, and petition more. … Continue reading

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“Civic Renewal in America”

Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly has just published my article on civic renewal. The pdf is available here. The article begins: Our formal political system is coarse, unproductive, and short-sighted. Outside of formal politics, however, a robust movement is beginning … Continue reading

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immigration legislation: a prediction

The future is inscrutable, and I’m bad at prognostication, but I suspect that Congress will pass no major immigration bill in the near future. Clearly, the congressional leadership would like to pass a bill so that they can avoid attacks … Continue reading

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