Travel and Civic Education

I’ll be in California over the weekend for a Liberty Fund conference on representative government, at which I expect to learn a great deal about the subject. The readings on the basis of which the discussions will take place have been great (Guizot, Burke, Madison, Gordon Wood, and plenty of legal cases about redistricting, campaign financing, and other topics) and the list of the other participants leads me to think that I’ll learn a lot.

Representative government will also be the theme for a rather different kind of conference to which I’ll be traveling on the 16th. It will take place in Baghdad and will involve Iraqi educators, political leaders, and others working to establish the basis for legal legitimacy and stability there. The idea is to help Iraqis to teach their compatriots about the functioning of a constitutional system (e.g., rule of law, loyal opposition, and a lot of other institutions that are easy to take for granted but quite difficult to get started). I hope to impart some of what I’ve learned in teaching about the topic in Europe and the Americas and in turn to learn what I can from the other participants. (I’m also hoping to meet more people who can work to promote libertarian thought and institutions in the Arab world.) I’ll travel back on the 25th from Baghdad back to San Diego (Baghdad to Amman, Amman to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Chicago, Chicago to San Diego) for a Cato Institute Benefactor Summit, and then back to D.C. on the 29th.

One Response to “Travel and Civic Education”

  1. That gets me thinking about these institutions that we take for granted. It’s gonna be a really tough task to get in started. I can’t imagine how would you do it at all.. Whereas we in india, even take democracy for granted.