Peter Levine is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life.
Trained as a moral/political philosopher, Levine has spent most of his career conducting applied empirical research and organizing professional efforts related to civic life in the United States, including sustained work on civic education, voting rights, public deliberation, and social movements.
In the domain of civic education, Levine was a co-organizer and co-author of The Civic Mission of Schools (2003), The College, Career & Citizenship Framework for State Social Studies Standards (2013) and The Educating for American Democracy Roadmap (2021). The first two are the sources of the “six promising practices” and the notion of “taking informed action” that are widely found in state and local policies and curricula. The last was released in 2021 and is receiving prominent attention.
Levine graduated from Yale in 1989 with a degree in philosophy. He studied philosophy at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving his doctorate in 1992. Before coming to Tufts in 2008, he worked for Common Cause, the Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy at University of Maryland, and the National Commission for Civic Renewal and helped to found and then led CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, which is now part of Tisch College.
At Tufts, Levine’s primarily appointment is in Tisch College. He directs the Tufts Civic Studies program, which offers an undergraduate major, the Summer Institute of Civic Studies, and the annual Frontiers of Democracy conference. He holds tenure as a full professor in Political Science and has additional appointments in Philosophy, Science and Technology Studies, International Relations, Tufts University College, the Data Intensive Sciences Center, the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, and the Center for Humanities at Tufts. He co-leads the University-wide Research Group on Equity in Health, Wealth and Civic Engagement.
Levine is the author of eight books, including most recently We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Oxford University Press, 2013) and the forthcoming What Should We Do? A Theory of Civic Life (also Oxford University Press).
He has served on the boards or steering committees of such civic organizations as AmericaSpeaks, Street Law Inc., the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Discovering Justice, the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, the American Bar Association Committee’s for Public Education, the Paul J. Aicher Foundation, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.
Ph.D., Philosophy, Oxford University, Balliol College
B.A., Philosophy, Yale University
Tufts University, Tisch College: Associate Dean, Lincoln Filene Professor.
Tufts University: Director of CIRCLE
University of Maryland: Director of CIRCLE
University of Maryland: Deputy Director of CIRCLE
University of Maryland: Research Scholar, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy.
National Commission on Civic Renewal: Deputy Director (half-time role)
Common Cause: Research Associate and registered federal lobbyist
Selected Honors and Awards:
1988: Rhodes Scholarship
1988: Marshall Scholarship (declined)
Selected Professional Activities:
2019-present: National Academy of Education Steering Committee on Civic Reasoning and Discourse
2019-present: Educating for American Democracy (co-PI)
2018-present: Tufts Priority Area Research Group on Equity (co-PI)
2015: Expert witness in North Carolina N.A.A.C.P. v. McCrory. (Expert report written with Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg and testimony in federal court.)
2014-present: National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Civics Standing Committee
2011-2012: Council of Chief State School Officers committee drafting voluntary Common Core State Standards for the Social Studies, Chair of the Civics Committee
Selected Funded Research:
Peter Levine has served as Principal Investigator on 81 grants or contracts totaling $8.7 million and co-PI on three grants totaling $8 million.