Category Archives: civic theory

Garret Hardin and the extreme right

Facebook26 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 27Garret Hardin’s 1968 Science article entitled “The Tragedy of the Commons” has been cited more than 40,000 times. It is appropriately influential, since the problem he analyzed is pervasive and profound. The example of global warming could … Continue reading

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Gandhi versus Jinnah on means and ends

Facebook7 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 8(Posted while leading the 11th annual Summer Institute of Civic Studies, on questions like this one.) A major theme in Gandhi’s thought it the primacy of means over ends. In 1924, some Indian political leaders proposed the … Continue reading

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the metaphor of going into a community

Facebook22 Twitter2 Google+0Total: 24Researchers, students, government officials, organizers, activists–lots of people talk about “going into communities.” Although I resist the rhetorical move of “problematizing” everything, I think this metaphor deserves scrutiny. It assumes that communities are physically located and bounded, … Continue reading

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how a mixed economy shapes our mentalities

Facebook5 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 6(On my way to London for a small conference on Friedrich Hayek and Elinor and Vincent Ostrom). These are some of the activities that we undertake as we organize social activity in a mixed 21st century economy: … Continue reading

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marginalizing views in a time of polarization

Facebook15 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 16I recently posted “marginalizing odious views: a strategy,” which was about a powerful and sometimes valuable tool for self-governance. When communities define specific perspectives as beyond consideration, they uphold norms without needing formal censorship. This is good … Continue reading

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the Civic Studies Wikipedia page

Facebook188 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 189There is a new page on Wikipedia about Civic Studies. It’s not about civic education* but about the developing “interdisciplinary field that empirically investigates civic engagement, civic education, and civil society.” Civic Studies also strives to “influence the social sciences and humanities in … Continue reading

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marginalizing odious views: a strategy

Facebook15 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 16If you looked out at the National Mall on any Inauguration Day from 1944 to 2012, you might conclude that Nazism had been effectively marginalized in the USA. The president who was being sworn in might be … Continue reading

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Participatory Action Research as Civic Studies

Facebook29 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 30Thanks to the fabulous Tisch College postdoc Margaret McGladrey, we are holding a symposium on “Participatory Action Research as Civic Studies” today at Tufts, with 15 speakers. I’m planning to make a few remarks revolving around three … Continue reading

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a Civic Studies flowchart

Facebook97 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 98This is an agenda for research and education. It’s a way of organizing the major topics of our Introduction to Civic Studies course for undergraduates. It isn’t intended directly as a flowchart for civic actors (activists, leaders) … Continue reading

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pay attention to movements, not just activists and events

Facebook36 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 37Let’s say you work in a school or college, a newsroom, a city government, or a firm. You may encounter a social movement when it makes demands on you. Regardless of your opinion of its demands, you … Continue reading

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