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Is Utah a model for disagreeing respectfully?

The nation is in a period of ‘extended conflict, partisan conflict, deep division,’ which one Washington university professor says has been more the norm over the course of our nation’s history.

There’s ample evidence of the nation’s deep divisions.

Nicholas Lovrich.

“This is the situation we find ourselves in: People screaming at one another. People are wondering, ‘How is it that we got to this place?’ We’ve been experiencing a pretty long period of being able to get along, in the moderate middle really calling the shots. When that sort of goes away, then you start worrying about things even as deep down as civil war,” said Washington State University Regents and Emeritus Professor Nicholas P. Lovrich.

Lovrich, a panelist on a University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics forum titled “To Respectfully Disagree: Civility in Government,” said the nation has gone through long periods of bad conduct in the past.

“We’ve had a duel. We’ve had a caning on the floor of the Senate. We’ve had periods of time when we were so divided in (our) politics that it led to a lot of violence in the streets,” Lovrich said on Wednesday.

Read the full story:
Desert News


Foley Institute director to discuss civility, democracy Oct. 1

Cornell Clayton
Cornell Clayton

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) hollers “You Lie!” at President Barack Obama during his health-care speech to Congress. Conservative talk-radio showman Rush Limbaugh labels a caller a “slut” because she advocates insurance coverage for contraceptive care. Occupy Wall Street protesters portray bankers as criminals.  Is American democracy in the midst of an “incivility crisis”?

Cornell Clayton, political science professor and director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, will discuss “Being Wrong about Democracy: Political Incivility in a Polarized Society” at 7 p.m. today, Oct. 1, in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 203. Hosted by the Common Reading Program, this presentation is free and open to the public.

Read more about the presentation

Trust in leaders, sense of belonging stir people to safeguard common goods, analysis shows

Craig Parks
Craig Parks

Psychological researcher Craig Parks and his co-authors emphasize the urgent need to broaden thoughtful use of public goods, noting that charitable contributions are at historic lows, fossil fuel reserves are shrinking, and climate change threatens the planet’s future.

Read more here

Other sources:
Science Blog
Health Canal

Endowment honors Sam Reed’s 45 years of public service

Sam Reed
Sam Reed

Washington State University’s College of Arts and Sciences will establish an endowment to fund the Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education and Public Civility in honor of Reed’s distinguished record of public service. He will retire from public office as Washington’s 14th secretary of state in January 2013.

Reed received his bachelor’s degree in social studies and master’s degree in political science from WSU.

“Much of my grounding in political science, history, and politics came from mentors and professors in my undergraduate and graduate school years at Washington State, and I am so happy to think that future generations will benefit from a Reed Professor,” Reed said. “I am delighted that Washington State University is creating a Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education and Public Civility.”
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