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Projects Funded by the Tenth Decade Fund

At the time Dean James Steinberg formally launched the Tenth Decade Project in November 2014, an interdisciplinary faculty committee was already at work, helping define the Project’s mission. “The beauty and the strength of Maxwell is its diversity,” says Scott Barrett, who serves on the Tenth Decade committee as Maxwell’s associate dean of strategic communications and external affairs. “Because we have anthropologists and sociologists and geographers and policy folks all working together, it creates this really interesting mix, with citizenship and public service always at the center.” 

Students in front of Washington statue in Maxwell HallThen, in early 2015, the committee put out a call for proposals for long-term projects related to citizenship that are interdisciplinary, engage students as well as faculty, and have the potential to draw interest and support from outside the University. Over the ensuing summer, five ambitious projects were selected to kick off the Tenth Decade: 

  • The Citizenship in America Survey initiative seeks to create an annual survey mechanism relating (A) civic engagement by racial and ethnics minorities in America to (B) the perceived role of social media and digital technology in citizenship and political effect.
  • The Climate Change and Citizenship Project promotes interdisciplinary study, scholarly exchange, and curriculum development exploring how climate change action influences, and is influenced by, concepts and practices of citizenship.
  • The Free Speech Repository interdisciplinary research team collects and analyzes data about who benefits from judicial decisions protecting free speech.
  • The Maxwell Citizenship Initiative invites, nurtures, and underwrites citizenship-focused projects that draw on the School’s interdisciplinary traditions.
  • The Work, Labor, and Citizenship Initiative promotes inquiry and discussion about work, economic inequality, movements for workers’ rights, and citizenship.

The Tenth Decade Fund will support the initial phases of these five far-reaching projects, and the Maxwell School will seek additional funding and external partners for these and for additional projects. 

Each year, the Tenth Decade committee will put out the call for proposals from interdisciplinary faculty teams. “By the time we’ve reached our 100th birthday,” says Tina Nabatchi, the associate professor of public administration and international affairs who chairs the committee, “we will have amassed this great pool of research, teaching, and service activities that are very diverse but all connected by the idea of citizenship.”