Monthly Archives: July 2013

doggerel by a dad

“O aid me ere I err!” bade he. “Nay, nay, I’ll not,” said she. “I’ll aid ye not–you’re overwrought,” she sputtered in her tea. “Avail me, please, I’m on my knees,” Beseeched the lad, awailing. “Peace,” said she, “your tears … Continue reading

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a useful definition of civility

(Logan airport, trying to get to Chicago) Because I study civic engagement and civil society, people often expect me to favor civility. My actual view is more complicated; not only civil dialogue but also contentious speech is important in a … Continue reading

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taking a break

For me, the last week has meant: the end of the Summer Institute of Civic Studies (6.5 hours of graduate-level teaching every day), the Frontiers of Democracy conference (150 excited guests at my institution), Albuquerque, a day back in Boston, … Continue reading

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police as community-builders

(San Francisco) The short presentations from Frontiers 2013 are all available in video form here. As an enticing example, I present the police chief of Brooklyn Park, MN, Michael Davis. Brooklyn Park is one of the most diverse communities in … Continue reading

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young people on the Zimmerman verdict

(Chicago) According to the latest Pew poll, a majority of young White people are dissatisfied with the Zimmerman verdict, in contrast to older White people, who approve. Nevertheless, just 32% of Whites between 18 and 29 think that the trial … Continue reading

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job openings in civic renewal

Here is an up-to-date list of interesting jobs related to civic engagement, civic education, and community organizing. (I post such lists periodically.) Program Administrator for CIRCLE’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement. NSLVE is an initiative of CIRCLE and … Continue reading

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what we should talk about? (notes on Trayvon Martin and the state of national dialogue)

(Albuquerque, NM) After Newtown, President Obama “direct[ed] the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education to launch a National Dialogue on Mental Health.” This presidential directive led, in turn, to “community conversations,” including a big meeting here in … Continue reading

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mass incarceration, the jury, and civic studies

Alumni of the Summer Institute of Civic Studies have designed a series of discussions at Frontiers of Democracy about mass incarceration, juries, and citizenship. The discussants include Andrew Nurkin (Executive Director of Princeton AlumniCorps, Princeton), Peter Pihos (doctoral candidate, University … Continue reading

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remarks at the opening of Frontiers of Democracy 2013

About 150 people are gathering at Tufts for Frontiers of Democracy 2013: Innovations in Civic Practice, Theory, and Education. In my introductory remarks (below the fold), I will explain how the conference draws together separate streams of discussion and organizing, … Continue reading

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avoiding arbitrary command

Philip Pettit and some others have been reviving the classical theory of republicanism as a theory that treats “domination” as the basic evil to be avoided. Domination often takes the form of arbitrary commands (“Do it because I say so”). … Continue reading

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