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Join Today’s Discussion with Authors of Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship

ICYMI –  The McCourtney Institute for Democracy  an NCDD member org, is hosting their next virtual book club event TODAY, featuring the book, Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship. Come share a discussion with the authors, William Keith and Robert Danisch, on civility in democracy and public discourse. You can purchase the book through Penn State University Press, and receive a 30% discount when you use the promo code “NR20”! The event is via zoom at 4pm Eastern, 1pm Pacific; reading of the book is not required to join. Learn more about this virtual event below and register ASAP on the McCourtney Institute site here.


Virtual Book Club

Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship

By William Keith and Robert Danisch

Discussion with the authors
Monday, October 5, 4:00 p.m. ET

Purchase the book through the Penn State University Press.
Use discount code NR20 to receive 30% off

From the pundits to the polls, nearly everyone seems to agree that US politics have rarely been more fractious, and calls for a return to “civil discourse” abound. Yet it is also true that the requirements of polite discourse effectively silence those who are not in power, gaming the system against the disenfranchised. What, then, should a democracy do?

In this book, William Keith and Robert Danisch make a case for understanding civility in a different light. Distinguishing it from politeness, they claim that civil argument must be redirected from the goal of political comity to that of building and maintaining relationships of minimal respect in the public sphere.

This virtual book club event will be hosted in partnership with the Penn State University Libraries and the Penn State University Press. The first half will be a Q&A session with the authors, followed by smaller group discussions in Zoom breakout rooms. Reading the book is not required to attend — we welcome anyone who wants to explore the topic of civility in democracy and public discourse.

Registration

Please complete this form to RSVP. Registrants will receive a Zoom link prior to the event.

Reflection Questions

Here are a few questions to guide your reading:

  • What obligations do we have to others in a democracy?
  • When might incivility be justified?
  • How and why might civility be able to generate social and political change?
  • Why be civil to racists or others that we might disagree with or who might hold beliefs that we find abhorrent or wrong?
  • Can civility improve democratic decision-making? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • What’s the difference, in terms of communication practices, between being polite and being civil?
  • How might civility impact the process of making meaning in diverse societies?

Beyond Civility Braver Angels discussion

The authors recently participated in a public forum on civility with Braver Angels, a group that unites Americans across the political spectrum with the goal of depolarizing America. Watch the video here:

You can find the original version on this on the McCourtney Institute for Democracy site at www.democracy.psu.edu/virtual-book-club.

Isabella Guzman
Isabella Guzman is ecstatic to join the NCDD team as Blog and Social Media Curator. She studied International Relations and French Language and Literature at George Mason University. Her passions for expression, communication and connection led her to become a facilitator, translator and yoga teacher. She wants to keep learning, growing, supporting organizations and people who do the important work of Dialogue and Deliberation.

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