Monthly Archives: December 2012

a national discussion on safety

The New York Times has published an “Invitation to a Dialogue” by our friend Harry Boyte. Harry writes: In response to the killings in Connecticut (“Looking for America,” column, Dec. 15), Gail Collins calls for breaking the silence about gun … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | 2 Comments

CIRCLE’s finds iCivics boosts writing skills

Today, CIRCLE released the results of a randomized experiment using a computer-based teaching module called Drafting Board, from the nonprofit organization iCivics. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics to improve civic education through video games and related products. Drafting Board … Continue reading

Posted in advocating civic education | Leave a comment

the spatial logic of cities

Michael E. Smith writes, “The spatial division of cities into districts or neighborhoods is one of the few universals of urban life from the earliest cities to the present. Neighborhoods are even found in some large village settlements, and they … Continue reading

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religious freedom and non-discrimination at a private university

What should a university do when a religious student group applies internal rules that are discriminatory? For example, theologically conservative Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox Christian, and Muslim groups may want to discriminate against gay students or may maintain that clerical … Continue reading

Posted in academia, deliberation | Leave a comment

the campus building boom

The New York Times reports today that “A decade-long spending binge to build academic buildings, dormitories and recreational facilities — some of them inordinately lavish to attract students — has left colleges and universities saddled with large amounts of debt.” … Continue reading

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libertarians, violence, and unions

Whenever unions are in the news–as recently, in Michigan–the concept of “union violence” draws enormous attention. Google News finds 137,000 recent mentions of that phrase, mostly under headlines like “When Thuggery is OK,” and “Union Violence in the Age of … Continue reading

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how morality came into the world

In the beginning, there was matter, arrayed in space and time and subject to forces. Morality was irrelevant. If a star blew itself to bits or a whole galaxy vanished, that was neither good nor bad. Whether the universe even … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | 2 Comments

what is the definition of civic engagement?

There is no single answer to this question, which is deeply contested. The definition of “civic engagement” should be contested because it relates to basic questions about what constitutes a good society and a good human life. To illustrate the … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory | 3 Comments

political reform on a base of civic renewal

I have not seen any news reports yet, but today the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the Communications Workers of America, and the NAACP had planned to announce a common agenda on democratic reform. This is a welcome development, because they contribute … Continue reading

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WaterFire and the aesthetic dimension of civic renewal

(Providence, RI) At an Everyday Democracy board meeting here today, we met Barnaby Evans, the charismatic founder and leader of WaterFire Providence. Every couple of weeks, the downtown of this old city is transformed by the lighting of fires that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment