Monthly Archives: December 2010

could we crowdsource civic renewal?

I am professionally and personally committed to “civic renewal“: strengthening the capacities of citizens to solve problems, influence government, and create public goods. In the past, citizens gained those capacities as members of organizations, but we have lost most of … Continue reading

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12 good signs for the new year

Nancy Thomas of the Democracy Imperative has collected 12 positive and recent news items about civic engagement, youth, and education. In lieu of my own post on this surprisingly busy day, I recommend Nancy’s list, which is especially valuable at … Continue reading

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Ian McKellen’s Now is the winter of our discontent

I admire unexpected, imaginative stagings of Shakespeare that are not stunts but that reveal meanings in the original text. There are many such moments in Ian McKellen’s film version of Richard III (1995). He has cut and edited Shakespeare’s text … Continue reading

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doing the same thing again and expecting different results is not insane

Is it just me, or are people suddenly citing the following quote all over the place: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”? It is variously attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben … Continue reading

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federal policy and civic skills report

Last April, CIRCLE convened scholars, civic leaders, and federal officials met in Washington to develop a federal policy agenda for civic skills. Thirty-three of the participants (not including any federal officials) jointly wrote and signed a report that we released … Continue reading

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on public work and alienation

Neighbors love a local stream and are concerned about its health. Thanks to them, a pedestrian footbridge is built over it to provide access and to reduce car pollution. It doesn’t matter much whether people cause the bridge it to … Continue reading

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federal leverage as an employer, and higher education

The federal government provides full-time employment for 2.8 million civilians. In a given month, the feds may hire 50,000 new employees. Imagine if they said: “We are looking for people who have civic skills, who can analyze complex public or … Continue reading

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I support the tax deal

(Washington, DC) My inbox is full of denunciations of the Obama/GOP tax deal, but I support it. Until very recently, additional Keynsian stimulus seemed politically impossible. No one was even talking about it. Now we can have a stimulus package … Continue reading

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the philosophical foundations of civic education

Ann Higgins-D’Alessandro and I have published an article under this title in Philosophy & Public Policy Quarterly. It is actually a version (with due permission) of a chapter we published in The Handbook of Research on Civic Engagement in Youth, … Continue reading

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Matt Leighninger on a vital moment

You should read Matt Leighninger’s paper for the Bertelsmann Foundation, “Vitalizing Democracy Through Public Participation: A Vital Moment” (pdf). Here are some quotes to give a flavor, but the whole argument is important: Obama was educated in the same community … Continue reading

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