To advance the understanding and practice of civil discourse to strengthen our democratic traditions and improve governance and public decision making.

Objectives and Plans

Objective 1: Channel public demand for civil discourse in political campaigns and public policy deliberation


  1. Engage national leaders and Institute board members as advocates and advisors
  2. Develop message campaign to raise awareness of the importance of civil discourse to democracy and effective government
  3. Mobilize networks of professionals, the media, educators and civic and corporate leaders

Objective 2: Encourage elected officials and candidates to increase their commitment to civil discourse


  1. Create rewards and incentives for candidates, public officials and media spokespersons who engage in civil discourse
  2. Effect changes in media coverage of campaigns and public policy deliberation to dissuade incivility
  3. Advocate for institutional reforms that affect civil discourse campaigns and public policy deliberation

Objective 3: Build interdisciplinary research field of civil discourse to provide insight into and legitimacy for improving American politics


  1. Synthesize existing research findings on issues concerning civil discourse
  2. Convene researchers and build partnerships and research teams
  3. Build seed grants program to stimulate new research
  4. Build interdisciplinary research lab to explore critical policy and practice questions