What is civic agency, and why do we need it now more than ever?

Many of us would conclude that peace negotiators - among others - would have to look for new work if more of us had civic agency, or "the capacity to act cooperatively and collectively on common problems across our differences of view." In fact, Harry Boyte describes a lack of civic agency as the central problem of the 21st century.

Boyte, who is co-director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, was invited to write about a solution to this problem for the independent global affairs web site openDemocracy.

In his essay, Boyte lays out a practical framework for building civic agency, and includes a resource guide for those who want to know more. Read Building civic agency: the public-work approach at

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs