Free Program Explores Civility in a Politically Charged Environment

Aug. 21, 2012

The James E. Rogers College of Law, with The National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD,) presented a free program, Can We Talk? Civil Political Discourse in a Partisan Era, outlining the need for reasoned debate and successful models for improving political dialogue, on Friday, September 7, 2012, Noon - 1:15 p.m., at the College of Law Ares Auditorium (Room 164).

Update:  KXCI Community Radio aired program featuring two of the speakers at this program, on September 9, 2012. Listen here.

At a time when high-stakes political partisanship and “culture wars” threaten to dominate the public policy agenda, new research and ideas are emerging about how to engage Americans in more productive political discussions. Presenters discussed the innovative work of the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD), current research on political dialogue, and emerging strategies for robust democratic engagement across ideological, political, and cultural divides. They included:

  • Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse;
  • Professor Brint Milward, who directs the University of Arizona’s School of Government and Public Policy;
  • Professor Robin Stryker, University of Arizona Sociology Department; and
  • Toni Massaro, the Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional Law and Dean Emerita, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

This presentation was part of a larger, year-long series, entitled American Pluralism and Civil Rights, sponsored by the James E. Rogers College of Law. The schedule for this year includes lectures by nationally acclaimed civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, University of Chicago Professor Martha Nussbaum, and Columbia University Professor Jeff Fagan. Additional lectures by University of Arizona professors will present programs on current political issues such as immigration law and policy, affirmative action in the courts, family and reproductive issues, religious freedom, racial justice, poverty law, and election law issues. Information on the series is available at

Established in February 2011 at The University of Arizona, the National Institute for Civil Discourse is a nonpartisan Presidential Institute for advocacy, research, and policy regarding civil discourse consistent with First Amendment principles. The Institute works to ensure that our elected national leadership embraces and embodies statesmanship while coming together to solve the critical issues facing our nation.