ti mot h y j. shaffer Civic Studies as a Conceptual Framework In an essay focusing on the contribution of the late Elinor Ostrom's scholarship to the developing field of civic studies, Peter Levine suggested that civic studies is "one possible name for intellectual work that seriously addresses the question, `What should you and I do?'"1 Its strength, Levine argues, comes from the acknowledgment of three important and interrelated matters: facts, values, and strategies. As Levine further explained, "We citizens need to know facts because we should not try to do something that is impossible, or redundant, or that has harmful but intended consequences. . . . We also need values because otherwise we cannot distinguish between good and bad collective action. . . . Finally, civic studies should offer strategies. It is insufficient to wish for better outcomes and determine that those outcomes are possible. We need a path to the desirable results."2 There are, obviously, many disciplines and fields of study and practice that engage these questions. However, traditional disciplines have often been limited by the epistemologies and methodologies that define them. What is acceptable within professional associations and what the institutional expectations of scholarship are
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Dec 13, 2013
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