Monthly Archives: August 2008

Barack Obama and Joseph Schumpeter

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I love many aspects of the Obama Campaign, but until recently, I had been thinking that its “change” slogan was pretty much empty. Then it occurred to me that the slogan could reflect a particular conception of democracy–if not … Continue reading

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two sides of civic renewal

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0My first job was at Common Cause, one of the main lobbies that seeks to improve formal American politics by reforming the way campaigns are financed, voters are registered, electoral districts are drawn, and regulations are approved. Even then, … Continue reading

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public participation helps environmental policy

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Four powerful agencies that deal with environmental regulation–the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture–wanted to know whether involving citizens improves their decisions by tapping local … Continue reading

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Michelle

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Listening to Michelle Obama last night, I thought about a conversation we had in October 2006. I hesitate to report it because I am a strong critic of the kind of politics that prizes personal interactions with leaders–as if … Continue reading

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the moral evaluation of literary characters

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0I’m on p. 521 of Dickens’ Bleak House–hardly past half-way–but so far Mrs Jelleby is proving to be a bad person. Like many of my friends (like me, in fact) she spends most of her days reading and writing … Continue reading

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student political engagement

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momentum for service policy

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Both Senator McCain and Senator Obama have now agreed to participate in a summit on national and community service in New York City on Sept. 11. This will be their first joint appearance after the conventions–not a debate, but … Continue reading

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McCain in a prisoner’s dilemma

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0David Brooks argued yesterday that “[John] McCain and his advisers have been compelled to adjust to the hostile environment around them. They have been compelled, at least in their telling, to abandon the campaign they had hoped to run. … Continue reading

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a wooden house at the edge of campus

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Last Friday, I visited the Tufts Institute for Global Leadership. This is an important organization that provides “classes, global research, internships, workshops, simulations and international symposia” for Tufts students and for many other people in the US and overseas. … Continue reading

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broadening philosophy

Facebook0 Twitter0Total0Moral philosophy (or ethics) forms a diverse and eclectic field, about which few accurate generalizations can be made.* However, I think I detect a very widespread preference for concepts whose significance is always the same–either positive or negative–wherever they … Continue reading

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