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Stewarding America

This project investigates the civic institutions that are critical for inspiring and modeling good citizenship. Through in-depth analyses of the government, the courts, the media, the military, corporations, unions, and the education system, the Academy will develop a better understanding of the role of these institutions in the American democratic system and will propose ways to increase civic participation and public confidence in American leaders and institutions.

The findings from this project will serve as the basis for publications, national conferences and workshops, and a public outreach campaign designed to encourage renewed emphasis on stewarding American democracy.

Constitution Day Panel Discussion

Stewarding America: Institutions and Civic Life

September 17, 2014
Newseum: Knight Conference Center
Washington D.C.

Keynote Address

William "Bro" Adams
National Endowment for the Humanities

Panel Discussion


Jonathan F. Fanton
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Norman Ornstein
American Enterprise Institute

Patricia McGowan Wald
Former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

Mickey Edwards
Aspen Institute; formerly, U.S. House of Representatives

Stephen Heintz
Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Joel I. Klein
Amplify; formerly, New York City Department of Education

Featured Publication

Dædalus “American Democracy & the Common Good” (Spring 2013), Norman J. Ornstein and William A. Galston, guest editors

The table of contents is outlined below.

Leslie C. Berlowitz Foreword
Norman J. Ornstein Introduction
William A. Galston The Common Good: Theoretical Content, Practical Utility
Thomas E. Mann & Norman J. Ornstein Finding the Common Good in an Era of Dysfunctional Governance
Jeffrey Rosen Can the Judicial Branch be a Steward in a Polarized Democracy?
Geoffrey R. Stone The Supreme Court in the 21st Century
Andrew A. Hill, Leonard Wong & Stephen J. Gerras The Origins & Lessons of Public Confidence in the Military
Kathleen Hall Jamieson The Challenges Facing Civic Education
Mickey Edwards The Case for Transcending Partisanship
Jim Leach Citizens United: Robbing America of Its Democratic Idealism
Ralph Gomory & Richard Sylla The American Corporation
Andy Stern Unions & Civic Engagement: How the Assault on Labor Endangers Civil Society
Peter Dobkin Hall Philanthropy & the Nonprofit Sector
Michael Schudson Reluctant Stewards: Journalism in a Democratic Society
Deborah Tannen The Argument Culture
Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson Compromise & the Common Good
Howard Gardner Reestablishing the Commons for the Common Good
Kwame Anthony Appiah The Democratic Spirit

A Call for Ideas

The Academy is examining the institutions that steward American democracy. We call on you to help us think about ways that we can foster greater cooperation and ideals of good citizenship. How can our work contribute to greater public confidence in American institutions? Please submit your ideas in the form below. Select responses may be featured on this page.

Submit your ideas.

Project Chair

Norman J. Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

In the News

Highlighted Activities

Norman J. Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, discussing the Stewarding America project at a briefing on Academy research projects and studies, October 2013.

Richard E. Sylla, New York University Stern School of Business, spoke on Stewarding America: National Institutions & Civic Engagement at the Academy's 2012 Induction weekend.

View the video of the entire panel.

Learn More About this Project