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Sender: "Peterson, Pete"
Subject: New Book on Relationship Between "Place" and Civic Engagement
Date: Mon, Mar 31, 2014
Msg: 100894


I thought you might be interested in knowing about a new book project on the subject of “Place” and its relationship to civic engagement…

Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America was just released on Thursday at an event at Pepperdine (reviewed here in today’s Sacramento Bee). I have an essay in the book about how we should be incorporating an understanding of place into public policy formation and education.

Of particular note to this group is how the essays in this volume address the issues of ideology from a communitarian perspective. My experience has been that many friends from the left-side of the aisle see conservatives as viewing the world from a “rugged individualist” perspective, and that they are the more “community-minded". You hear this many times from our President, who, when met with opposition to some of his policy prescriptions describes his opponents as those who say “you’re on your own.”

There is certainly a growing libertarian movement in America (that has both left and right components), but there is also a long history of conservative communitarians. A tradition that begins with Edmund Burke and runs through De Tocqueville to Russel Kirk, Wilmoore Kendall, Donald Davidson and (especially) Robert Nisbet, through to today’s Rod Dreher, Ross Douthat and others.

I’ve thought for some time that one way to find some “common ground” between ideologies is in this communitarian arena. I see many strands of this way of thinking in the recent Slow Democracy by Susan Clark and Terry Teachout. And while I may draw the line differently in how centralized policies either inhibit or promote the creation of something called “community” that folks like Susan and Terry. I think we’re all trying to get to (nearly) the same…place.



-- [cid:DBDC430B-C5B0-45BB-B799-389D578851A5]

Pete Peterson – Executive Director

24255 Pacific Coast Hwy | Drescher Graduate Campus | Malibu, California 90263 310.506.8054 – p | 310.924.2238 – c | WEB:


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