Category Archives: civic theory

the New Institutionalism, deliberative democracy, and the rise of the New Right

Facebook19 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 20In public debates about issues and problems, we typically consider institutions in two ways. On the one hand, we discuss their explicit purposes and missions, as reflected in the laws that create and govern them or (if … Continue reading

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The Role of Social Movements in Fostering Sounder Public Judgment

Facebook28 Twitter2 Google+0Total: 30Public Agenda has released the first papers in their series on “Sounder Public Judgment.” Among them is my paper on “The Role of Social Movements in Fostering Sounder Public Judgment.” It’s a short essay but it has … Continue reading

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new chapter on Elinor Ostrom and Civic Studies

Facebook11 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 12A newly published volume: Ostrom’s Tensions: Reexamining the Political Economy and Public Policy of Elinor C. Ostrom, edited by Paul Dragos Aligica, Peter J. Boettke, and Roberta Q. Herzberg. I contribute a chapter entitled “’What Should We … Continue reading

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Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-1948 by Ramachandra Guha

Facebook9 Twitter1 Google+1Total: 11Guha’s biography is the essential work on Gandhi: much more detailed, better researched, and more persuasive than the earlier biographies that I know of. Volume Two, focusing on India, is 1,104 pages long but moves at a … Continue reading

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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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