One of the most important educational, political, and social issues of today is how best to have a civil conversation in a democratic society. Our past, present, and future depend on this essential process: citizens gather, listen to each other, debate, make up their minds, and determine a course of action.
Polarization of opinions, coupled with the speed and access of the digital age have made it more difficult to keep our conversations civil in America today. From shouting matches, to opinionated blog posts, to rhetoric-filled political debates, we are confronted every day with uncivil conversation.
Civil Discourse is
About listening and talking
Each Speaker's own responsibility
Civil Discourse is not
An exercise in martyrdom
About telling other people who they are
Message from the Director
The American University Project on Civil Discourse is led by Director Lara Schwartz, who teaches in the AU School of Public Affairs.