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Uniting AmericaRestoring the Vital Center to American Democracy$
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Norton Garfinkle and Daniel Yankelovich

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108569

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108569.001.0001

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Citizenship, Civic Unity, and National Service

Citizenship, Civic Unity, and National Service

(p.198) Chapter 11 Citizenship, Civic Unity, and National Service
Uniting America
William A. Galston
Yale University Press

“Civic society” encompasses voluntary associations and informal social attachments known as “civil society” as well as the official institutions and processes of political life. Formal membership in a particular civic community is called citizenship, a legal status carrying with it a bundle of legal rights and duties. This chapter proposes national service as a solution to the challenge of shaping civic character and forging civic unity. It argues that the U.S. military, which is based on the All Volunteer Force that draws disproportionately from the lower economic ranks of society, reinforces polarization between lower- and higher-income groups. It suggests that national service should include young citizens regardless of economic background and recommends a variety of options to address the root causes of terrorism—including military service, service in homeland security, or service in Peace Corps-like activities.

Keywords:   civil society, citizenship, national service, civic character, civic unity, military, All Volunteer Force, terrorism, military service, homeland security

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