Monthly Archives: May 2007

a typology of democracy and citizenship

I’ve been in Chicago for an interesting research conference on civic participation. There was some discussion about how empirical research should relate to “normative” thinking, i.e., arguments about how citizens ought to act, or how institutions should treat citizens. One … Continue reading

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my new book

(Chicago) Yesterday, we received a copy of my new book, The Future of Democracy. I don’t know whether it’s seemly to post advertising copy for one’s book on one’s own blog, especially if one wrote the copy oneself. I once … Continue reading

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discussing current issues in schools

(Chicago) Surveys consistently find that most American students discuss current events in their classrooms and feel free to express their own views in these discussions. For instance, according to CIRCLE’s 2006 survey, three-quarters of current students ages 15 to 25 … Continue reading

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the Democratic primary

State primaries are the only contests that really count for selecting a presidential nominee. The national population never weighs in, which notoriously means that people count for a lot more in New Hampshire than in, say, Maryland. Nevertheless, the candidates … Continue reading

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November Fifth Coalition: great examples

(Medford, Mass.) With help from the Democratic Governance Panel of the National League of Cities, the November Fifth Coalition has written up six excellent examples of communities in which broad public deliberation has addressed serious, difficult issues, from crime to … Continue reading

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why not to think about “youth turnout”

(Medford, MA) If we think about the “youth vote” as an aggregate, we’ll focus on a trend of decline followed by a significant rebound in 2004 (the blue line to the left). We will notice that the rate of youth … Continue reading

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philosophy and concrete moral issues

The Philosopher’s Index (a database) turns up 25 articles that concern “trolley problems.” That’s actually fewer than I expected, given how frequently such problems seem to arise in conversation. Briefly, they involve situations in which an out-of-control trolley is barreling … Continue reading

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generations and economic inequality

(Indianapolis) According to USA Today (which I get in my hotel room), Inequality within age groups hasn’t changed much. People in their 30s or 60s have roughly the same wealth distribution among themselves as in 1989. What’s changed is inequality … Continue reading

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angles on US history

(Indianapolis) I’m attending a meeting on teacher education. During a morning session on the teaching of American history, there was some criticism of a certain national historical narrative that’s often retold by children when they are asked what they’ve learned … Continue reading

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measuring online civic engagement

(Indianapolis) We have an opportunity to ask questions on a national survey that will gauge the extent of civic engagement online. We hope to repeat the same questions in subsequent years to follow trends. It’s hard to get this right. … Continue reading

Posted in Internet and public issues | 2 Comments