Civic Studies mini-conference

Soon after the volume entitled Civic Studies is published, a daylong discussion of the same topic will take place at the Southern Political Science Association meeting (January 10 in New Orleans).

As Karol Soltan and I write in the volume, the phrase “civic studies” is quite new. A group of scholars coined it in 2007 in a collaborative statement entitled “The New Civic Politics: Civic Theory and Practice for the Future.” Civic Studies does not mean civic education, although it should ultimately improve civic education. Instead, in the words of original framework, Civic Studies is an “emerging intellectual community, a field, and a discipline. Its work is to understand and strengthen civic politics, civic initiatives, civic capacity, civic society, and civic culture.”

The framework cites two definitive ideals for the emerging discipline of civic studies “public spiritedness” (or “commitment to the public good”) and “the idea of the citizen as a creative agent.” Civic studies is an intellectual community that takes these two ideals seriously. Although new, it draws from several important strands of ongoing research: the Nobel-Prize-winning scholarship of Elinor and Vincent Ostrom on managing common assets; deliberative democracy; public work; the study of public participation in development; the idea of social science as practical wisdom or phronesis; and community-based research in fields like sociology.

Here is the agenda for the mini-conference:

Civic Studies “Conference Within a Conference”: Fri Jan 10 2014, 9:45 to 11:15am

Author Meets Critics for Peter Levine’s “We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For

Author: Peter Levine (Tufts University)
Critic: Olivia Newman (Harvard University)
Critic: Ryan McBride (Tulane University)
Critic: Thad Williamson (University of Richmond)
Critic: Rumman Chowdhury (University of California, San Diego)
Chair: Susan Orr (College at Brockport, SUNY)
* Albert Dzur participating remotely via skype

Fri Jan 10 2014, 1:15 to 2:45pm
Roundtable “What is Civic Studies?”

Participant: Karol Soltan (University of Maryland)
Participant: Peter Levine (Tufts University)
Participant: Tina Nabatchi (Maxwell School Syracuse University)
Participant: Thad Williamson (University of Richmond)
Chair: Peter Levine (Tufts University)

Fri Jan 10 2014, 3:00 to 4:30pm
Teaching Civic Studies

Participant: Katherine Kravetz (American University)
Participant: Timothy J. Shaffer (Wagner College)
Participant: Alison Staudinger (University of Wisconsin, Green Bay)
Participant: Donald Harward (Bates College)
Participant: Susan Orr (College at Brockport, SUNY)

Fri Jan 10 2014, 4:45 to 6:15pm
Author Meets Critics for Paul Aligica, Institutional Diversity and Political Economy: The Ostroms and Beyond

Author: Paul Aligica (George Mason University)
Critic: James Bohman (Saint Louis University)
Critic: James Johnson (University of Rochester)
Chair: Karol Soltan (University of Maryland)
Critic: Samuel Ely Bagg (Duke University)

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.