The Communitarian Update

Number 37
July 10, 2001

Diversity within Unity
We are starting a project on national identity and immigration. We seek to sort out how societies could come to embrace immigrants from different cultures, without a sense that these immigrants endanger the core values of the existing society, recognizing that these values themselves are subject to change. As a first step, we are seeking names of seminal books, scholars, and public intellectuals from different cultures who have worked on this issue or are currently working on this issue. Please send information, including about your own work, to Mackenzie Baris at with "DWU" in the subject line.

Attention Political Scientists:
Short Course on New Communitarian Thinking
by Philip Selznick and Amitai Etzioni
Date: Wednesday, 8/29,01, Time: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: APSA meeting, San Francisco, San Francisco Hilton& Towers.
A review of recent works in political theory and macrosociology concerning new (or responsive) communitarian thinking. Special focus on the tension between liberty and social order, the relationship between social norms or mores and laws, the role of moral dialogue versus reasoned deliberations, and ways to exit out of cultural relativism. Course to be conducted in the form of a seminar. Space is limited, please register with Joanna Cohn at with "short course" in the subject line.

A Communitarian Influence?
In a recent interview with National Public Radio, Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon discussed the role played by Charles Malik, a philosophy professor from Lebanon, in helping the United Nations Human Rights Commission draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. She explained: "In Article I of the declaration, which reads, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood," there was a great argument among the members of the commission about what exactly is the nature of the human person whose rights are being protected here. The Soviets, for example, wanted to submerge the person in the collective. Mrs. Roosevelt and the English representative had a highly individualistic idea of the person. And it was Malik who was able to bring these people together with an understanding of the person as uniquely valuable in and of him or herself, but also as a social being, constituted in part by and through relationships with others. And that was the position that was accepted by the group and that infuses the entire declaration. It's an important point because it kept the declaration from becoming either a highly collectivist or a highly individualistic document."

New Issue of The Responsive Community!
(Free sample issues available)

Volume 11, Issue 3, Summer 2001

Up Front
Reflections on European Unification -- Simon Serfaty
Value in Variety -- Harvey B. Feigenbaum
Our Monochrome Values -- Amitai Etzioni

Neutrality, Autonomy, and the Liberal State - Emily R. Gill
If the liberal state cannot and should not be completely neutral, what should determine the limits of its nonneutrality? According to Gill, a liberal polity's nonneutral stance can be justified if it promotes its citizens' capacity for autonomy--that is, their ability to think critically about their goals and desires.

In Response: Maintaining Minimal Commitment - William A. Galston
To Galston, though, Gill's allegiance to autonomy goes much too far.

The Unappreciated Virtue - Alan Wolfe
In America, the Left, the Right, and the millions of Americans in the middle valorize justice, compassion, diligence, and a host of other virtues. But have they all forgotten about forgiveness?

The Culture of Political Avoidance - Nina Eliasoph
Voluntary groups enable citizens to establish and articulate their values, right? Not necessarily. Find out how civic groups can actually stunt civic growth.

Black, White, and Green: A Tale of Integration - Jonathan Eig
Twenty years ago, black and white residents in a Chicago neighborhood were given a financial incentive to live together. Looking at the result, some see a loss of community; others see a model of progress.

Among Friends: An Interracial Dialogue
Addressing issues of racial discrimination, segregation, and identity, the participants defy the notion that honest interracial conversations are impossible.

The Community Bookshelf

Human Nature Fights Back - Paul Lichterman
Review of Francis Fukuyama's The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order

Fear and Loathing in the United States - Joseph Romance
Review of Garry Wills's A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government

Especially Noted

The Community's Pulse

Libertarians, Authoritarians, Communitarians

Community News
Uniting Unlikely Company - Susan Parker

Commentary - Richard Dagger, Noah M.J. Pickus

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.


Communitarian Support
We gratefully acknowledge two generous and substantial donations made by Norton Garfinkle and David Myers for the work of The Communitarian Network, a 501(c)(3) organization. 100% of these and all funds received are dedicated to our work projects; the director draws no salary or fees of any kind.

Read and endorse the communitarian platform at: Join other recent endorsers like Professor Reba Carruth of Washington, DC, Robert Kapaska a business owner from El Cajon, CA and Marilyn Brenneman an attorney from Bainbridge Island, WA who recently endorsed the platform.


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