The Project on American Democracy and Citizenship (PADC) is a cooperating program dedicated to fostering civic knowledge through the study of American politics, history, and public affairs in the liberal arts tradition of free and open inquiry. The program will offer new learning and engagement opportunities for UM students as well as the University and local communities.
The Project on American Democracy and Citizenship is dedicated to offering new learning and engagement opportunities for the UM and local communities through public programming and curricular developments that explore vital issues affecting American politics and society from a diverse range of viewpoints. All PADC programming will be geared toward fostering greater civic awareness through the study of how America’s philosophical foundations and historical development have shaped and continues to inform America’s politics, economics, society, and place in the world. The PADC approaches its study of the American Experiment through a non-partisan, interdisciplinary, pluralistic lens and seeks to draw on insights from the national and local policy orbits and various academic disciplines including political science, history, philosophy, economics, literature, religion, law, liberal studies, and journalism.
The PADC aims to foster an open and on-going conversation about core liberal arts questions and their relation to American government and society. Such programs are necessary because the enduring questions animating a traditional liberal arts education can easily get lost amidst increasing academic specialization. While focused study is important, it is also critical to be able to think across disciplines and confront difficult pre-disciplinary questions about what is important and why. The PADC seeks to bridge disciplinary divides and reach out to all members of the University and local communities by furthering discussion and debate over the questions lying at the heart of the liberal arts ethos and the way they inform our lives as democratic citizens.