Monthly Archives: July 2015

heading to Ukraine

I am on my way tomorrow to Lviv and Chernovitsi in Ukraine, to co-teach the Summer Institute of Civic Studies and Civic Education there. This will be an immeasurably small contribution to what I think is a great cause: the work of the … Continue reading

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adding democracy to Robert Merton’s CUDOS norms for science

Civic Science is an emerging scholarly conversation, and today we held a discussion of it at Tufts. In my group, we agreed that scientists are not value-free but are indeed defined by certain values. We went back to the list … Continue reading

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St. Margaret of Cortona and medieval populism

This is highlight #3 from our recent vacation in Italy. St. Margaret of Cortona was a remarkable person–more on her in a moment. The picture is a narrative of her life painted around 1298, or just one year after she … Continue reading

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civic republicanism in medieval Italy: the Lucignano council frescoes

This is highlight #2 from our recent time in Italy. Lucignano is a small medieval town in Tuscany, notable for its street plan of concentric ellipses capping a steep hill. During the middle ages, it was contested by larger city-states, … Continue reading

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the year the people took back politics: a vision for 2016

Below are my keynote remarks yesterday at … The video is here: I departed from the prepared text a fair amount in order to address the audience of civic innovators who had gathered in Austin. By the time I spoke, … Continue reading

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2014 set records for lowest youth registration and turnout

(Austin, TX) CIRCLE is reporting today that 19.9 percent of 18-to 29-years old cast ballots in the 2014 elections. That was the lowest rate of youth turnout recorded by Census data since the voting age was lowered to 18. The … Continue reading

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#Blacklivesmatter and Sen. Sanders: social democracy and identity politics

(Winston-Salem) Last weekend, #BlackLivesMatter activists disrupted a forum with Democratic presidential candidates Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders at Netroots Nation. An objection to Gov. O’Malley was that he oversaw the State of Maryland while it incarcerated many thousands of young … Continue reading

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Donald Trump as the schoolyard bully

(Winston-Salem, NC) Recent events involving The Donald strike me as powerfully reminiscent of an unpleasant schoolyard. Wanting to be popular and the leader of the cool clique, he picks on the most marginal group–in real life, Mexican immigrants. The other … Continue reading

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youth Participatory Budgeting in Boston

In April, 2014, I had the pleasure of watching Boston teenagers begin a youth Participatory Budgeting process. The city has asked them to decide how to allocate $1 million of capital funds, engaging their peers in research, deliberation, and voting. … Continue reading

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how to respond to a leader’s call for civic renewal

During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama spoke at length, consistently, and passionately about renewing citizenship in the US. I collected many of the key quotes here. There was a depth to these comments because Obama had worked for a faith-based organizing … Continue reading

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