syllabus of Introduction to Civic Studies, spring 2019

I am about to start teaching Intro to Civic Studies with my colleague Erin Kelly. Here is our syllabus, minus the grading rules, office hours, etc.

January 17: Introduction: A case from the Pluralism project to spur discussion and raise questions about organizational types and purposes, disagreements about values, and how identities are involved.

January 22: A “feeling of personal responsibility for the world”

January 24: The citizen in a modern democracy

  • John Dewey, The Public and its Problems, Chapter 5, “Search for the Great Community.”

Problems of Collective Action

January 29: Elinor Ostrom and the Bloomington School

January 31: Ostrom Continued

  • Thomas Dietz, Nives Dolsak, Elinor Ostrom, and Paul C. Stern, “The Drama of the Commons” in Elinor Ostrom, ed., Drama of the Commons, pp. 3-26.
  • Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons, Ch. 1.

February 5: Ostrom Continued

February 7 and Feb 12 Social Capital

  • Robert D. Putnam, “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital,” Journal of Democracy 6:1, Jan 1995, 65-78
  • Robert D. Putnam, “Community-Based Social Capital and Educational Performance,” in Ravitch and Viteritti, eds., Making Good Citizens, pp. 58-95
  • Pierre Bourdieu, Forms of Capital, 1986 (excerpt)

Identifying Good Ends and Means

February 14: A Deliberation

  • Pre-read the Harvard Pluralism Project’s case entitled A Call to Prayer and be ready to discuss what the people of Hamtramck, MI should do.

First group assignment (a simulation) is due

 February 19: Habermas and Deliberative Democracy

  • Jürgen Habermas, “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article,” New German Critique, 3 (1974), pp. 49-55
  • Lasse Thomassen, Habermas: A guide for the perplexed. A&C Black, 2010, pp. 63-96, 111-130.

February 26: Habermas Continued

  • Jürgen Habermas, Theory of Communicative Action (selection) 
  • Jürgen Habermas, Between Facts and Norms, pp. 17-23, 38-41

February 28:  The Conditions for Deliberation

  • Jürgen Habermas, Between Facts and Norms, pp. 359-379
  • Danielle E. Allen, Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship Since Brown, v. Board of Education, pp. TBA

Final draft of first paper due

March 12: John Rawls

  • John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, pp. 3-19, 52-57

March 14: Testimony and Empathy

  • Lynn Sanders, “Against Deliberation”
  • Emily McRae, “Empathy, Compassion, and ‘Exchanging Self and Other’ in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Ethics” for Handbook of Philosophy of Empathy (Routledge), edited by Heidi Maibom, 2017.

March 14: Midterm in class

March 15-25: Spring Break

Social Movements 

March 26: Social Movements 

  • Charles Tilly, “Social Movements, 1768-2004”
  • Marshall Ganz, “Why David Sometimes Wins: Strategic Capacity in Social Movements,” in Jeff Goodwin and James M. Jasper, Rethinking Social Movements: Structure, Meaning, and Emotion (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004) pp.177-98.

March 28: Exclusion and Identity

  • The Book of Nehemiah
  • Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House.”
  • Steve Biko, “Black Consciousness and the Quest for True Humanity” 

Second group assignment due

April 2:

Identity and the Common Good

  • Lilla, Mark Lilla, “The End of Identity Politics,” The New York Times, Nov. 18, 2016
  • Todd Gitlin, “The Left Lost in Identity Politics,” Harpers, Sept. 1993 
  • Transcript of an encounter: Hillary Clinton and Julius Jones

April 4: Community Organizing

  • Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals, 1946 (1969 edition), pp. 76-81; 85-88; 92-100, 132-5, 155-158.
  • Myles Horton and Paulo Freire, We Make the Road by Walking, pp. 115-138

April 9: Nonviolent Campaigns

  • Martin Luther King, Stride Toward Freedom, chapters 3, 4, and 5.
  • Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, chapters 1 and 2 

April 11: Impure Dissent

  • Tommie Shelby, Dark Ghettos, 38-48, 252-73

April 16, 18: Nonviolence (PL)

  • Bikhu Parekh, Gandhi, Chapter 4 (“Satyagraha”), pp. 51-62;
  • Gandhi, Satyagraha (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing Co., 1951), excerpts.

April 18: Gandhi continued (PL)

  • Gandhi, Notes, May 22, 1924 – August 15, 1924, in The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Electronic Book), New Delhi, Publications Division Government of India, 1999, 98 volumes, vol. 28, pp. 307-310
  • Timothy Garton Ash, “Velvet Revolution: The Prospects,” New York Review of Books, December 3, 2009 

The Person in Community

April 23: Civic Education: What all this means for what students should learn (EK)

  • Joel Westheimer and Joseph E. Kahne, “Educating the ‘Good Citizen’: Political Choices and Pedagogical Goals,” PS Online

Third group assignment due

April 25: Civic Studies at Tufts and Beyond

Draft of second paper due

May 7: Final paper due.

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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