Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Universities studying and promoting civility in politics

Coffee Party Survivor Logo

It is no secret that I'm a member of the Coffee Party, as I blog about it here. One of the founding principles of the Coffee Party is civility, including having members sign a Civility Pledge. So when I stumbled into what looks like the beginning of a trend for universities to be interested in and promote civility in politics as part of my long-term project on Daily Kos to highlight the research stories from the public universities in each of the states having elections and caucuses during the week, it piqued my interest.

Here's the first story, which I posted in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (AAAS, Arizona, and Michigan edition) week before last.

University of Arizona: Gabrielle Giffords to Join National Institute for Civil Discourse Board
By University Communications
February 21, 2012
The National Institute for Civil Discourse is a nonpartisan center for the research and advocacy of civility in public discourse.

The National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona has announced that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has been named to its National Board of Advisors. Fred DuVal, chair of the institute's Working Board, and Eugene G. Sander, president of the UA, made the announcement Tuesday.

"There is truly no greater example of a public servant committed to the idea of increasing civility in politics than Congresswoman Giffords," DuVal said.

"We are honored that Congresswoman Giffords, who is beloved and respected around the world, will partner with the institute on advancing the quality of our nation's public discourse," Sander said.
This past week, I found two more stories in the same vein, which made their way into Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Massive March Storms edition).

University of Massachusetts: Forum on Civility Draws Audience of Hundreds
Pamela Worth
February 28, 2012
What is civility? Does the word indicate etiquette and manners, or a deeper and more fundamental quality in a democracy? Has America ever truly embraced civil discourse in its history? Have incivility and disrespect hindered Americans in recent years from working together?

On Friday, February 17, UMass Boston’s Center for Civil Discourse hosted its inaugural event: a national Forum on Civility and American Democracy that aimed to explore these and other questions with a day of discussion and thought.

The forum was the brainchild of Stephen Crosby, outgoing dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), along with Mass Humanities, Boston’s National Public Radio station 90.9 WBUR, and the McCormack Graduate School helped to sponsor the forum.

University of North Dakota: Conflict Resolution Center to focus on politics and ‘civility in public conversation’ at annual symposium
Former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan to speak; event delves into the question: Have we lost our ability to talk civilly?
March 2, 2012
The University of North Dakota Conflict Resolution Center (CRC) will explore the current state of political and public discourse at its fifth annual "Symposia on Conflict Transformation" seminar.

The CRC wants to use the occasion to talk about "civility in public conversation" and its impacts on society locally and beyond. The symposium is set for May 21-25, 2012. Most events will take place at in the River Valley Room of the UND Memorial Union.

Former U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, a UND alumnus whose spent more than 30 years in local, state and national politics, will be a guest speaker for the event.
Three stories about promoting political civility from three states in two weeks--must be something in the Zeitgeist. I'm encouraged.

No comments:

Post a Comment