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PPE Speaker Series: “What Should We Do?” with Peter Levine

April 26, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Event Description:

People who want to improve the world must ask the fundamental civic question: “What should we do?” Although their specific challenges and topics are enormously diverse, they often encounter problems of collective action (how to get many individuals to act in concert), of discourse (how to talk and think well about contentious matters) and of exclusion. To get things done, they must form or join and sustain functional groups, and through them, develop skills and virtues that help them to be effective and responsible civic actors. Elinor Ostrom and the Bloomington School of political economy demonstrate that collective-action problems can be solved and suggest “design principles” that increase the odds of success. Jürgen Habermas argues that people can deliberate; experiments with deliberative democracy offer insights about what makes these conversations go well. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. offer models of nonviolent social movements that indicate how to address problems of exclusion. Good civic action requires insights from these three traditions of theory and practice. We need a synthesis of the three traditions that also addresses the challenge of scale: how to preserve intentional, ethical, collective action when millions or billions of people are involved.

On April 26, join us for a postered session by the POLI 276 class at 5:00 pm, followed by this public lecture at 6:00 pm at Hanes Art Center 121. Pizza will be provided after the talk!

Speaker Bio:

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. He also appointments in the Tufts Philosophy Department, Political Science Department, and the Tufts Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. He was the founding deputy director (2001-2006) and then the second director (2006-2015) of Tisch College’s CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. In addition, Levine co-leads the Civic Studies major, teaches the Summer Institute of Civic Studies, and organizes the annual Frontiers of Democracy conference.


April 26, 2022
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:
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