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We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting for: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Peter Levine

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14. November 2013
America's most serious social problems require citizen action. Traditional civic organizations have shrunk and weakened; the government ignores and sometimes frustrates constructive civic engagement. But Americans have been experimenting with new forms of active citizenship, mostly at the grassroots level. Their experiments are deliberative, convening diverse citizens to discuss goals and strategies without ideological constraints. They are collaborative, involving actual work that builds and sustains public institutions and creates public goods. And by talking and working together, these citizens build civic relationships, which are marked by virtues such as loyalty, respect, and hope. Peter Levine is a philosopher who has been engaged with such civic renewal efforts for twenty years as a theorist, an empirical researcher and evaluator, and a participant. In this book, he offers an original theory of civic engagement, informed by political philosophy and practical experiments. He critically examines public policies that have discounted citizenship and corrupted the relationship between citizens and the state. He assembles evidence that recent efforts to renew citizenship have engaged at least one million Americans and have made tangible improvements in communities and institutions. He ends with a strategy to turn the scattered efforts at civic engagement into a broad movement for civic renewal that will tackle America's most serious social problems.


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Wielding an impressive command of research and statistics, as well as finer points of moral and political philosophy, Levine's discussion of the benefits and contours of public engagement draw on lucid analogies and real-world examples..Broad in scope yet eminently practical, this book should be an enduring contribution to the study of democratic theory and social action." --Publishers Weekly"Peter Levine is a remarkable asset-a scholar whose research is rigorous and unflinching but whose passion for democracy brims with optimism and engagement. In this book, he catalogues all the ways our institutional systems discourage engagement among citizens. But he finds and lifts up a million people doing civic work for a better world, and asks us to join and harness that energy for real change. It's clear-eyed and a clarion call-and a must read whether you're a full time advocate or 'just' a citizen hoping to make a difference." --Miles Rapoport, President, Demos "We know what it means to get better leaders. But how are we supposed to produce better citizens? That's the question Peter Levine brings into focus. If the examples he describes can spur the one million most active citizens into a movement for civic renewal, we will all benefit from communities that are more deliberative, more collaborative, and more engaged." --Alberto Ibarguen, President and CEO, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation "In an America now rife with inequality, institutionalized corruption, a jobless recovery and more prisoners than any other country, many sense that we stand at a nadir of democracy. With inspiring erudition, Levine points to an unlikely solution: the people themselves. Drawing from experiences from schools in Washington, D.C. to neighborhoods in San Antonio, he develops a pragmatic approach to civic revitalization that builds upon developments in organizing, deliberation, civic education, and public service, but goes far beyond any of these

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Peter Levine is Director of The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagment (CIRCLE), and Research Director of the Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Civic Engagement and Renewal 16. November 2013
Von hugh McIntosh - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Peter Levine's "We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For" makes several important contributions to the discussion of civic engagement and renewal in the US:
* It's comprehensive, considering a range of factors that influence civic engagement.
* It provides a clear, broad definition of civic engagement: deliberation, collaboration, and civic relationships with others, including those with differing political views.
* It critiques the limitations of social media as a means of civic renewal.
* It acknowledges that our political system is in trouble.
* Finally, it offers hope and a thoughtful set of ideas about what can be done to further civic renewal.
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