The Record Volume 31, No. 7

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R. Glenn Hubbard
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Lisa Anderson
Akeel Bilgrami
Victoria de Grazia
Michael Doyle

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Samuel G. Freedman
Richard C. Wald
June Cross

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Allan Rosenfield
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Jeffrey Fagan
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Jon Kessler
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DANA R. FISHER
Assistant Professor of Sociology

 

On environmentalism and other civil society movements in 2005:

1) The tsunami in Asia and the hurricane season, reminding us that society still relies on nature and that an extreme weather event like Katrina can have dire consequences beyond the widespread loss of life (in Katrina's case, a breakdown in the social system and inflated fuel costs).

2) The public's response to these natural disasters. Relief in the form of monetary contributions and donations of time to host refugees and volunteer for clean-up and rebuilding efforts was the most significant civil society effort of 2005—in fact, it was unprecedented.

What's ahead?

1) We will step up our preparations for natural disasters.

2) In response to fears that this year's hurricanes were the result of global climate change, subnational bodies will redouble their efforts to create policies to regulate greenhouse gases. Right now, for instance, almost 200 mayors around the United States are working to implement the "U.S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement." Because the national government will not move forward in any meaningful way to regulate greenhouse gases in 2006, subnational bodies will continue to challenge the Bush administration's policies.

3) Survivors of Katrina and the tsunami will receive less attention, even though their needs for assistance will not abate.

Source of Inspiration in 2005

Everyday Politics, by Harry Boyte, proposes that we reconsider how civil society, the state and the market are related and that we think about "public work" as a way of reconnecting citizens with public life.