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Posts with the Tag “must-have books”

Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of Contemporary American Politics

The 258-page book, Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of Contemporary American Politics, by Joseph Zompetti was published January 2015. In the book, he discusses the extreme rhetoric that currently prevails in American political discourse and its subsequent effects on people to disengage and the political environment to become polarized. Zompetti shares insight into this toxic political environment, sheds light on the extreme rhetorical practices performed in US politics, and offers critical thinking skills for people to better participate despite this. Below is an excerpt from the book […] (continue)

The Reunited States of America

The 192-page book by Mark Gerzon, The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide, was published February 2016. This book is a manifesto on how to bridge the political divide in America, during a time when the political environment is deeply poisoned. Gerzon shares the experiences of 40 individuals and organizations that are already doing the work of finding common ground, and working together around challenging and divisive issues. Here you will find a toolkit to join the emerging movement towards a transpartisan political environment […] (continue)

Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation

The 288-page book, Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation, published September 2015, discusses youth civic engagement in the US and how youth can be more civically engaged. About the book…  Youth volunteerism and civic engagement has changed in America. While the numbers of young people who volunteer have risen substantially, recent studies show that very few find meaning and purpose through serving their communities. For many, volunteerism has become just another school requirement that bolsters a good college resume. […] (continue)

Wicked Problems, Workable Solutions: Lessons from a Public Life

Dan Yankelovich, chairman and co-founder of Public Agenda published the book, Wicked Problems, Workable Solutions: Lessons from a Public Life in December 2014. This 202-page book presents a strategy to nurture the greater public wisdom necessary for modern society to confront its most wicked problems. From Dan’s blog post at Public Agenda A whole mess of wicked problems such as stagnant incomes, blocked social mobility, political polarization and a dysfunctional educational system threaten to overwhelm us. (The definition of a Wicked Problem is that conventional solutions, by themselves, […] (continue)

We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America

Chronic unemployment, deindustrialized cities, and mass incarceration are among the grievous social problems that will not yield unless American citizens address them. Peter Levine’s We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For (2013) is a primer for anyone motivated to help revive our fragile civic life and restore citizens’ public role. After offering a novel theory of active citizenship, a diagnosis of its decline, and a searing critique of our political institutions, Levine — one of America’s most influential civic engagement theorists — argues that American […] (continue)

The Art of Convening: Authentic Engagement in Meetings

In their book, The Art of Convening, authors Craig and Patricia Neal explore their “Art of Convening” engagement model and how it goes “beyond facilitating”. According to their book, convening creates an environment in which all voices are heard, profound exchanges take place, and transformative action results. The heart of this book is the Convening Wheel — a series of nine steps, or Aspects, that bring the practices and principles needed for authentic engagement together as a whole. The book provides exercises, stories, and questions […] (continue)

Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart

Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart examines the connection between Christian values and good dialogue practices.  From the author… As practitioners, we deal in process all the time. But what can we do before the process to prepare ourselves for dialogue? Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart (SkyLight Paths, November 2012) explores a wealth of strategies and resources—ancient spiritual practices, fundamental mindshifts, and “practical” steps—that can reorient our deepest […] (continue)

Democracy in Motion: Evaluating the Practice and Impact of Deliberative Civic Engagement

Several years in the making, with the involvement of many of us in the D&D community, this 2012 book edited by Tina Nabatchi, John Gastil, G. Michael Weiksner, and Matt Leighninger can be purchased here on Amazon.com for under $30. The 336-page book is published by Oxford University Press. Although the field of deliberative civic engagement is growing rapidly around the world, our knowledge and understanding of its practice and impacts remain highly fragmented. Democracy in Motion represents the first comprehensive attempt to assess the practice and impact of […] (continue)

Bringing Citizen Voices to the Table: A Guide for Public Managers

This important 2012 book by Carolyn Lukensmeyer (founder of AmericaSpeaks and now director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse) offers seven field-tested strategies for public managers to help them maximize citizen engagement as they implement the President’s Open Government Directive. Lukensmeyer’s first book is due out November 10, but you can pre-order your copy now here at Wiley.com or by calling 800-356-5016. Use Promo Code CL252 to save 36% on your order. The Core Strategies for Citizen Engagement discussed in the book are: Establish Links to Decision-Makers; […] (continue)

Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home

In “Slow Democracy,” community leader (and NCDD Sustaining Member) Susan Clark and democracy scholar Woden Teachout document the range of ways that citizens around the country are breathing new life into participatory democracy in their communities. (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012.) Large institutions and centralized governments, with top-down, expert-driven thinking, are no longer society’s drivers. In fact, they are often responsible for tearing communities apart. New decision-making techniques now pair with cutting-edge communication tools to make local communities—and the citizens who live there—uniquely suited to meet today’s […] (continue)

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