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Sender: "Bruce Schuman"
Subject: Self-introduction
Date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014
Msg: 100842

From: List for transpartisan leaders and innovators [mailto:TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG] On Behalf Of Lawrence Chickering Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:46 AM To: TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG Subject: [TRANSPARTISAN] Self-introduction

I wrote my first book on a transpartisan politics in 1993, Beyond Left and Right (BL&R),

which was an attempt, philosophically, to integrate the thoughts of left and right.

The argument focused not on what both sides argue to be true but on the

central challenge of all modern societies (and all individuals in them), which

is to integrate the two great, modern values of freedom, individualism, and rights

on the one hand (which I call, simply, 'freedom') and the traditional values of

duty, obligation, community, and order (which I call 'order'). Taking the

differences between freedom and order for granted, the modern political

debate understands left and right as unitary concepts, ignoring the huge

differences within the left and within the right, which cause great internal

conflict within each.

Left and right come together in understanding this great modern challenge: to

integrate freedom and order, and thoughtful people on both sides recognize

that no one has successfully accomplish integration. In this sense, I believe

left and right can be integrate not in terms of what they know, but in terms of

what they do not know -- what both understand to be the central, unsolved

challenge we face. The point is not only theoretical: on specific institutions

and policies, transpartisan, 'four-quadrant solutions' not only solve problems;

they also bring everyone together.

This reference to 'four-quadrant solutions' goes to the heart of my transpartisan

vision, first explained in BL&R and later carried on in Jim Turner's and my sequel to

it, Voice of the People: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life (2008).

These works start by separating left and right into 'freedom' and 'order' components.

Each represents part of the truth, and the overriding objective of all is integration

with the others. Voice is largely devoted to a policy agenda with examples of

how to do this on issues ranging from public school reform, health care,

and poverty to gay rights, crime, and foreign and security policy.

I am attaching a short article that Jim and I wrote -- he from the 'left' and I

from the 'right' -- on the Four-quadrant Matrix of positions: freedom-left

and order-left, and freedom-right and order-right. We try in the paper to

highlight what portion of each position is 'true' and necessary for an

integrated whole. (Comments welcome.)

Different approaches to transpartisan have been expressed in this

transpartisan conversation, some focusing on deliberation and some on

participation. My work is focused almost entirely on participation, which

is to say on an active concept of citizenship in contrast to the passive

concept that tends to govern most mainstream discussions of politics.

Forty percent of voters in the U.S. now identify themselves as independents,

and I think a major reason is that our increasingly individuated people are

not satisfied with passively sitting back and letting the government do

everything in addressing public issues.

While governments have important roles to play, it should be obvious from

the mess that dominates almost every public policy issue that governments

cannot solve most problems by themselves; they need citizens playing active

supporting roles in designing and implementing policies. This general subject

has been mostly dominated by sociologists and political scientists, but I think

that economists' concept of property rights should be expanded beyond

private to public spaces such as schools and housing projects, with citizens

actively working to create positive communities in these and other 'public'

realms. I am coauthoring a book on public school reform based on this

concept. The coauthor is a former, celebrated principal of a middle school

in San Francisco.

The book on U.S. public school reform is strongly connected to one of my

other, primary interests, which is the promotion of girls' education and

general education reform in government schools in the most difficult

(tribal) parts of developing countries. The organization is Educate Girls

Globally (EGG), which has developed its model, working actively with the

governments in two states of India, including the most tribal, Rajasthan.

We are now planning expansion to Africa, working in partnership with

Africare. This is an empowerment model that empowers citizens, including

the poorest in rural areas, to take leadership in promoting change. We

also empower government officials to play active roles in expanding the

program, which is now in about 7,000 schools serving 800,000 children.

We have recently expanded to secondary schools, and we are working

actively to create demonstration projects in three or four Indian states

for an initiative of the federal Ministry of Education to reform secondary

schools throughout the country.

A final interest is researching the uses of civil society (citizen-based)

initiatives to play active roles in promoting social and cultural changes in

the tribal societies that have become the new, primary concerns of foreign

and security policy. This work began in an organization I cofounded called

the International Center for Economic Growth in the mid-1980s, working

with a global network of the best economic policy institutes in more than

100 countries. It became, essentially a South-South dialogue on how to

use markets for economic reform and human development. A short history

of ICEG's experience appears in a book I coauthored, Strategic Foreign

Assistance: Civil Society in International Security (2006), which also

addresses how citizen-based initiatives can support foreign and security

policy in crucial ways.

I look forward to participating in this powerful, new conversation.

Lawry Chickering

A. Lawrence Chickering

Founder and President, Educate Girls Globally (EGG)

1485 Main St., Ste 103c

St. Helena, CA 94574




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