apply for the 2015 Summer Institute of Civic Studies

The seventh annual Summer Institute of Civic Studies will be an intensive, two-week, interdisciplinary seminar bringing together faculty, advanced graduate students, and practitioners from many countries and diverse fields of study.

Organized by Peter Levine of Tufts University’s Tisch College and Karol Soltan of the University of Maryland, the Summer Institute will engage participants in challenging discussions of such topics as:

  • What kinds of citizens (if any) do good regimes need?
  • What should such citizens know, believe, and do?
  • What practices and institutional structures promote the right kinds of citizenship
  • What ought to be the relationships among empirical evidence, ethics, and strategy?

The syllabus for the sixth annual seminar (in 2014) is here. The 2015 syllabus will be modified but will largely follow this outline. You can read more about the motivation for the Institute in the Framing Statement by Harry Boyte, University of Minnesota; Stephen Elkin, University of Maryland; Peter Levine, Tufts; Jane Mansbridge, Harvard; Elinor Ostrom, Indiana University; Karol Soltan, University of Maryland; and Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania.


The daily sessions will take place from June 15-25, 2015, at the Tufts campus in Medford, MA. The seminar will be followed (from June 24, evening, until June 27) by a public conference–“Frontiers of Democracy 2015”–in downtown Boston. Participants in the institute are expected to stay for the public conference. See information on the 2014 conference here.

Tuition for the Institute is free, but students are responsible for their own housing and transportation. A Tufts University dormitory room can be rented for $230-$280/week. Credit is not automatically offered, but special arrangements for graduate credit may be possible.

To apply: please email your resume, an electronic copy of your graduate transcript (if applicable), and a cover email about your interests to Peter Levine at For best consideration, apply no later than March 15, 2012. You may also sign up for occasional announcements even if you are not sure that you wish to apply.

The Sister Seminar in Ukraine

In 2015, there will also be a parallel Summer Institute at Chernivitsi University in Ukraine. It is co-organized by Dr. Tetyana Kloubert (University of Augsburg) with Karol Soltan and Peter Levine and funded by the German government through the DAAD. Participants from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, and Germany are eligible. More information here.

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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.
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