The Communitarian Update

Number 36
May 10, 2001

Bioethics Conference
The first ever workshop on bioethics from a communitarian perspective will take place at George Washington University on 6/5/2001. Papers by Ezekiel Emmanuel (A Communitarian Perspective on Research), Mark Kuczewski (Organ Donation and the Common Good), Leonard Fleck (A Communitarian Perspective on Health Resource Allocation), and Eric Meslin (Human Cloning). Participation is by invitation only. Send nominations to Joanna Cohn at with "bioethics" in the subject line.

Round Two
In the latest (Spring 2001) issue of The Responsive Community, Seyla Benhabib and Michael Walzer debated what the requirements of citizenship in the global era. On 5/19, Benhabib and Walzer will revisit this topic in a live debate at the New School, hosted by Dissent Magazine. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Dissent at 212-316-3120.

Conference on Ethics and Social Responsibility in Engineering and Technology
Gonzaga University will be hosting the first annual Conference on Ethics and Social Responsibility in Engineering and Technology on 5/31 - 6/1/2001. The Conference will be at the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. See:

Communitarian Dialogue Moves to ezboard - Join the discussion!
discussion on International Criminal Court has begun on our new ezboard site. We'd love your input on this and other issues important to communitarians. Check out the site right now!

Communitarians Around the World
Spain's leading communitarian, Professor José Pérez Adán, is the editor of a new book: Las Terceras Vías. Professor Yukimasa Nagayasu just published The New Golden Rule in Japanese and has founded the Japan Communitarian Network (contact them at For activities by our German colleagues, see

Whither Democrats?
American Prospect's 5/7 issue examines the question of what the winning message for the Democrats might be. The focus is exclusively on the differences between a liberal and a New Democrat approach. Which themes might unite the party and appeal to independent voters and moderate Republicans found no takers.

Germany's Childless Pay Up
Germany's Constitutional Court ruled that workers with children should pay a lower premium for the country's compulsory nursing-insurance scheme than childless ones. Since future beneficiaries of the scheme will depend on the premiums paid by coming generations of workers, those people who have not helped to maintain the number of future contributors--the childless--are getting an unfair financial advantage, says the court.

Marriage is Good for You
That married people live longer and healthier lives than do the non-married is "one of the most robust results in demography," writes John E. Murray of the University of Toledo in Demography (Vol. 37, no. 4, 11/2000). Despite some evidence of selective bias, Murray found strong support for the independent effects of marriage itself upon health.

A Pokemon Conspiracy? Not Likely...
The Anti-Defamation League has condemned Moslem leaders in Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia for railing against Pokemon for being part of a "Zionist conspiracy" aimed at luring Moslem children into immoral activities and claiming that Pokemon is a Japanese word that translates to "I am Jewish."

Conference: Promoting Responsible Conduct of Research
Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) fifth national conference devoted to educating for the responsible conduct of research (RCR) will take place at the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City, Virginia - 5/18-19/2001. See:

Does Child Care Lead to Aggression?
Children who spend most of their time in child care are three times as likely to exhibit behavioral problems in kindergarten as those who are cared for primarily by their mothers according to the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care. The study found a direct correlation between time spent in child care and traits like aggression, defiance and disobedience.

Communitarian Theory Seminar
There is still room in the invitation-only seminar on New Developments in Communitarian Theory, to be conducted by Amitai Etzioni before the opening of the SASE meeting in Amsterdam. The special session (which will pay special attention to transnational communities) will take place from 9 to 12 am on Thursday, 6/28/2001.

No fees are involved, but space is limited and registration is required. For more information, to register yourself, or to nominate someone, contact Joanna Cohn at with "seminar" in the subject line or fax at 202.994.1606. (Those who seek to participate in the SASE meeting must register independently. For details, visit or call 410.435.6617.)

Become an endorser!
Show you're proud to be a communitarian by reading and endorsing our platform. Go to our web site: Recent endorsers include Bob Nelson (Seattle, WA), Daniel Liechty (Normal, IL), Roger Nehring (Wolf Creek, OR), and Bob & Barbara MacKenzie (Ruidoso, NM).

Subscribe to the Responsive Community
Visit The Responsive Community on our web: If you would like to receive a FREE sample of our publication for yourself or your organization, please let us know at, or call (800) 245-7460. Same--to subscribe.

New Publications
"Are Liberal Scholars Acting Irresponsibly on Gun Control?" by Amitai Etzioni in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Explores issues of scholarly examination of the constitutionality of gun control laws. Available at

Community Development Corporations and Welfare Reform: Linkages, Roles, and Impacts by David J. Wright, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Michael H. Schill (Rockefeller Institute Press, 2001) This study comprises two layers of analysis: field research conducted among a sample of four CDCs in each of six cities and contextual research on linkages between welfare and housing policy at the state-level.

Watch Out for Children: A Mothers' Statement to Advertisers published by The Motherhood Project of the Institute for American Values. Tackles the growing influence of advertising and marketing in the shaping of children's values. Available at

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Amendments to Update #36

In Update # 36, we mentioned two upcoming communitarian events that were designated "invitation only" and received the following responses:

I've been getting Communitarian Update for a number of years and approve of the dialogue it attempts to foster. I couldn't quite believe it, though, when I saw that participation in a bioethics workshop was going to be by invitation only. That sounds more narrowly elitist than communitarian. Is the community to be instructed on bioethics by its betters?
Peter MacPherson

Just a concern about the upcoming communitarian bioethics conference. The announcement specified that participation is by invitation only. Is a communitarian approach thus to be identified with elitism? One of the worries of critics of communitarianism is that it encourages and "in group/out group" mentality (community is a great thing, as long as you are invited to be part of it). It seems odd that a significant event that promises to help the communitarian approach would be fenced off in this way.
Dr. Douglas Chismar
Chowan College Center for Ethics

Dr. Etzioni sent the following reply:
Your comments are well taken. Sorry to have stated it poorly. We are keen to have a true dialogue. Hence I feel the meeting must be limited in size to a seminar room. We could have said to first 25 to register, but that does not make sense either, right? Please help. How should we put it next time?
Amitai Etzioni
The Communitarian Network


AEI seminar:
Are We All "Compassionate Conservatives" Now?
open to the public.
Thursday, June 7, 2001
4:00-5:30 p.m.
Wohlstetter Conference Center
12th Floor, American Enterprise Institute
1150 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

George W. Bush ran as a "compassionate conservative"; Bill Clinton was a "New Democrat." Both accept government as an important sponsor of social welfare benefits. Both also target benefit programs to avoid ever larger government and higher taxes; seek to minimize incentives that might discourage work, marriage, and self-reliance; and try to promote personal choice in the selection of service providers. Does this signal a new middle consensus for domestic policy making?

Panelists: Douglas J. Besharov, AEI; Hon. David Bonior, U.S. House of Representatives; Karlyn Bowman, AEI; William Galston, Former Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy

Moderator: Christopher DeMuth, AEI

5:30 Reception

What do you think?
Should a mentally-ill person be forcefully medicated so he can stand trial (and face the death penalty) for a double murder that all agree he committed? The case of Russell Weston, Jr. asks these questions. What do you think? Go to our ezboard site to discuss this issue.


The Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies
1922 F Street NW, Room 413
Washington, DC 20052