Journal of the Committee on the Political Economy of the Good Society

Power and Persuasion from Below: Civic Renewal, Youth Engagement, and the Case for Civic Studies

1. Theme Panel: “Power and Persuasion from Below: Civic Renewal, Youth Engagement, and the Case for Civic Studies,” Aug 30, 2013, 4:15 PM-6:00 PM
Chair: Peter Levine, Tufts University. Participants: Paul Dragos Aligica, George Mason University; Carmen Sirianni, Brandeis University; Karol E. Soltan, University of Maryland; Filippo A. Sabetti McGill University; and Meira Levinson, Harvard University

“Civic renewal” refers to an international set of movements and practices that enhance citizens’ agency and may therefore strengthen persuasion over raw power. In the US, it includes public deliberation, broad-based community organizing, and collaborative governance, among other efforts. Its values have also been reflected in aspects of the Occupy Movement and the Arab Spring, to name just two recent global movements. Youth are at the forefront of some of these efforts and must always be incorporated in them. “Civic Studies” is an emerging scholarly field inspired by Elinor and Vincent Ostrom and the Bloomington School, by social science as phronesis, by the new constitutionalism, by theories of public work and democratic professionalism, by research on deliberative democracy, and by related academic movements that take civic agency seriously. Civic education should draw on Civic Studies and support civic renewal.

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