Civic Engagement in America

The Civic Engagment Project, a large collaborative study that was led by Professor Theda Skocpol at Harvard University, sought an understanding of civic engagement across U.S. history. We developed a database of all large U.S. voluntary associations in American history and have used it along with other data sources to explore questions about the changing institutional structure of voluntarism, leadership, social capital, and state-society relationships.  Some of the publications that have come out of this work include:

A Nation of Organizers: The Institutional Origins of Civic Voluntarism in the United States (American Political Science Review 94(3), 2000: 527-546).  An article I wrote with Theda Skocpol and Marshall Ganz that provides an overview to one of our central findings from the project.

Shaped by War and Trade: International Influences on American Political Development (Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives)
Patriotic Partnerships: Why Great Wars Nourished American Civic Voluntarism, in Shaped by War and Trade (Princeton University Press, 2002, Katznelson and Shefter, eds.). A chapter I wrote with Theda Skocpol, Bayliss Camp, and Andrew Karch that demonstrates the symbiotic relationship that has developed between the state and civic institutions during times of war.

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