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ERIC Number: EJ1013497
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1076-0180
No Values, No Democracy: The Essential Partisanship of a Civic Engagement Movement
Hartman, Eric
Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, v19 n2 p58-71 Spr 2013
The past several decades have witnessed increasing efforts to advance universities as institutions supporting democratic civic education in the United States. Unfortunately, civic engagement initiatives frequently are framed as apolitical, which I argue is either under-theorized or disingenuous. In this article, I first review perceptions of values, partisanship, and political agendas in the contemporary university. Second, I turn to the historic role of democratic values within the American educational system. Third, I provide a conception of civil society useful for considering the ways in which democratic values must be continuously nurtured in the face of countervailing pressures from the market and the state. Fourth, I employ that lens to consider national trends in understanding of and support for education and related issues. Fifth, I move on to assert, drawing on Rorty (1998) and Schwartz (2008), that universities have surrendered their historic roles as civil society supporters of democratic values. Sixth, I consider implications for service-learning and community engagement before demonstrating how the human rights scholarly community offers a helpful model of continuously critical values commitment. And finally, I close with a vision of universities taking clear positions in support of democratic values. (Contains 4 notes.)
Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, University of Michigan. 1024 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3310. Tel: 734-647-7402; Fax: 734-647-7464; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A