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Edited by
Peter Levine
University of Maryland
plevine@umd.edu

James Youniss
Catholic University of America
youniss@cua.edu

CIRCLE Working Paper 45: February 2006


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction
Peter Levine and James Youniss........................................... ........................................ 3
What schools should do to prepare students for democracy
William Damon............................................. .................................................. .......... 7

A Modest Proposal
William A. Galston........................................... .................................................. ......... 9

Youth At-Risk for Non-Participation
James G. Gimpel and J. Celeste Lay............................................... ............................... 10

The Social Psychological Implications of Political Conflict
Diana C. Mutz.............................................. .................................................. ............ 16

Youth and Political Institutions
Joel Westheimer........................................ .................................................. .............. 19

Some Overlooked Contextual Factors
Peter Levine............................................ .................................................. ............... 22

City Designs: Building Municipal Systems for Youth Civic Engagement
Carmen Sirianni.......................................... .................................................. ............ 27

The Lifeworlds of Young People and Civic Engagement
Lewis A. Friedland and Shauna Morimoto.......................................... .............................. 37

Three Points Relevant to Research on Youth Engagement
Jane Junn.............................................. .................................................. .................. 40

Reconceptualization of Political Participation and Responsibility-Taking
Dietlind Stole in collaboration with Michele Micheletti and Marc Hooghe............................... 44

How Structures Influence the Politics of Engagement: Some Possibilities for Research
Joseph Kahne............................................. .................................................. ............... 47

Proposals for Sustaining the Turnout Surge
Jane Eisner............................................ .................................................. .................. 49
Civic Engagement in Youth from Low Income Neighborhoods:
The Influence of Youth Bulges, Institutions, and Poverty
Daniel Hart.............................................. .................................................. ................ 51

Reshaping a Developmental Theory for Political-Civic Development
James Youniss........................................... .................................................. ............... 53

Community Colleges
Constance A. Flanagan.......................................... .................................................. ..... 55



YOUTH AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION: INTRODUCTION

PETER LEVINE AND JAMES YOUNISS

In 1790, Condorcet observed that every generation accuses itself of being less-civic minded that its predecessors. Perhaps that concern is always appropriate, because citizens are made, not born; it takes deliberate efforts to prepare young people to participate effectively and wisely in public life. In any case, we have specific reasons to be concerned about youth civic engagement today, including low scores on assessments of civic knowledge, weakening social trust, dropping rates of membership in traditional organizations, low and falling efficacy, and a long decline in voter turnout from 1972 to 2002.

The papers in this collection were written by an interdisciplinary group to address two main questions: What conditions deter young people’s involvement in politics and civic life? What reforms could enhance youth engagement? Most of the contributors met face-to-face in Washington, DC in March 2005 to discuss their papers and the general issue of youth civic engagement. The meeting was funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York through a grant to the Life Cycle Institute at Catholic University of America. CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement) was a partner in planning the meeting.