Practical Curiosity and Democratic Leadership

I contend that it is our failure to cultivate practical curiosity, our inability to reckon with the complexity of democratic governance and leadership that is responsible for the low numbers of people within the United States who identify as liberal or progressive.

Practical Curiosity and Democratic Leadership

Gary Dorrien claims that “Obama governs with deep caution, even timidity, as he pushes for risky things.” I disagree. What Dorrien sees as timidity, I see as genuinely democratic leadership in the face of formidable challenges—not only economic, environmental, and military crises, but also a resolutely recalcitrant Republican party and a deeply divided Democratic party, unable to muster agreement on the contours of financial regulation, economic stimulus or health care reform.

How Closed are “Closed Minds”?

When I moved to the University of Missouri after having worked in Boston, I found that approaches to racial and gender equality that worked in New England were counterproductive in our work in the lower Midwest. We asked students to share what they valued in their culture, what nurtured and sustained them. We experienced the joy of expanding circles of deliberation and engagement with those we had formerly seen as prejudiced, closed-minded, and uninterested in learning

The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace

We are, at long last, in the midst of a vigorous and comprehensive critique of the U.S. war in Iraq. People throughout the world decry the horrendous loss of lives, both civilian and military, and are critical of the arrogance and poor planning in this administration’s attempt at “regime change” in Iraq.