Monthly Archives: May 2015

America’s Civic Renewal Movement: implications for youth engagement

(Detroit) On April 16, Tisch College released “America’s Civic Renewal Movement: The View from Organizational Leaders” by me and Eric Liu, the founder and CEO of Citizen University and executive director of the Aspen Institute Citizenship and American Identity Program. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

defining “games”

I am reading Josh Lerner’s Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics because it makes an important argument. Games are fun for specific reasons; most political processes fail to be fun because they lack those … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

overview article on civic engagement

Newly out this weekend is: Levine, P. 2015. Civic Engagement. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2015), 1–7. Abstract: Civic engagement is usually measured as a set of concrete activities, from voting to protesting, that individuals undertake in … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory | Leave a comment

medieval iconoclasm and modern prejudices

More than 1,000 years ago, the Christian world was consumed with a violent conflict over religious images: whether they should be venerated or destroyed as idols. That conflict, which brought down emperors, has resonances today. But even before the days … Continue reading

Posted in The Middle East, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

making big donors part of the political debate

Peter Beinart quotes an estimate that $5 billion may be raised from private donors for the 2016 election, much of it coming from extremely rich individuals who are able to keep relatively low profiles. Some of these donors may personally give amounts in … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the parable of the bricklayer and the Cathedral

(En route to Chicago for an #OFA event) Two people are working side by side, laying bricks at a similar speed. When asked what they are doing, the first says, “Laying bricks,” and the second says, “Building a cathedral.”* In … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

voting and punishment: Foucault, biopower, and modern elections

Michel Foucault wrote a great deal about punishment as a tool that governors use to discipline the governed. Voting seems like the opposite: a device for the governed to discipline the governing. But Foucault’s concept of bio-politics can be illuminatingly … Continue reading

Posted in civic theory, philosophy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

talking about lowering the voting age on Wisconsin Public Radio

On Wednesday, I was on the Kathleen Dunn show, which airs in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. The title of the segment was “Partisanship among the Generations,” and Jocelyn Kiley from the Pew Research Center talked about the interesting results of their recent … Continue reading

Posted in audio and video | Leave a comment

will young voters prefer younger candidates?

We are often asked whether young people prefer young(er) candidates, and this question is arising again as Sen. Marco Rubio emphasizes his relative youth as a selling point. CIRCLE has now collected evidence–which I find pretty compelling–that the age of a candidate is … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

what should a college do to improve teaching pervasively?

Here are five potential answers to that question, each of which depends on a different premise. Teaching would be better if the conditions improved. For instance, class enrollments should be smaller, and teaching loads should be more reasonable. (Premise: faculty/student ratio is … Continue reading

Posted in academia | Leave a comment