Monthly Archives: November 2012

a plea for subtler work on the psychology of political ideologies

I don’t study this topic closely, but I gather there’s a lot of research that asks survey subjects their ideology (on a scale from very liberal to very conservative) and sometimes whether they identify as Democrats or Republicans. They are … Continue reading

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professors and practitioners pontificate on political parody and persuasion

I am at a University of Pennsylvania conference entitled “P6: Professors And Practitioners Pontificate on Political Parody And Persuasion.” The focus is really on parody. An example is Steven Colbert’s real creation of a PAC and a Super PAC during … Continue reading

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CIRCLE Commission on Youth Voting & Civic Knowledge

CIRCLE today announced the formation of a new Commission on Youth Voting & Civic Knowledge. We have organized it in response to controversies about recent voting legislation (for instance, the new state photo ID laws) as well as debates about … Continue reading

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as Florida threatens to charge more for the humanities, those disciplines require a defense

A gubernatorial task force in Florida proposes making state university tuition cheaper for students in “high-skill, high-wage, high-demand (market determined strategic demand) degree programs.” The task force suggests that those programs may include 111 different majors in science, technology, engineering … Continue reading

Posted in academia, advocating civic education | 3 Comments

Wyoming has moved right, the country has not moved left

One divisive debate is how big government should be. That’s a matter of contested values, not resolvable by information alone. But a different divisive argument is about the trends. Is government getting more or less expansive and intrusive? Most on … Continue reading

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the Deliberative Democracy Handbook in Chinese

This is the cover of the Deliberative Democracy Handbook, edited by John Gastil and me, in Chinese. It was published in Taiwan, and the back cover says (according to Google’s translation, as edited by me): “Twenty years after the lifting … Continue reading

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against methodological individualism or why neighborhoods are not like broccoli

I am reading Robert Sampson’s Great American City: Chicago and the Enduring Neighborhood Effect, which William Julius Wilson calls “one of the most comprehensive and sophisticated studies ever conducted by a social scientist.” Sampson makes a strong case for considering … Continue reading

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centers for politics in higher ed

I am spending today at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, NH. I will give a public talk here and also meet to discuss the Institute’s programs. I’ve done much the same thing (i.e., … Continue reading

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Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown

Sean Safford’s book Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown (Harvard University Press, 2009) is essential reading for anyone concerned with active citizenship and civil society. Safford poses a contrast between Youngstown, OH and Allentown, PA, two old steel cities … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory | 3 Comments

Jack Gilbert, A Brief for the Defense

The poet Jack Gilbert died this week. One of his most famous poems is “A Brief for the Defense,” from which I quote a couple of excerpts: Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies are not starving someplace, they are starving … Continue reading

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