Center Plans Civitas Forum Oct. 11

by Public Relations | Oct 06, 2017

Oct. 6, 2017

Saint Vincent College and its Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government’s Center for Political and Economic Thought will host the annual Civitas Forum on Principles and Policies for Public Life on Wednesday, Oct. 11, in the Fred M. Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College. Registration will begin at 8 a.m.

The day’s schedule on the theme, “Party Crashers: Barbarians at the Gates or Political Realignment?” includes the following: 8:30 a.m., “Realignment of Political Forces and Realignment of Political Norms: Which Will Be More Enduring?” Andrew Busch, Claremont McKenna College; 9:30 a.m., “The New Age of Heresy: Trump, Trumpism and the Demise of Old Political Pieties,” Ben Boychuk, American Greatness; 10:30 a.m., “Governing in a Polarized Era: Change and Continuity in the Trump Presidency,” John Dinan, Wake Forest University; and 11:30 a.m., “The Rise of Donald J. Trump, Rhetorical Reductio Ad Absurdum and Realigning Flagellum Dei,” Matthew Peterson, John Paul the Great Catholic University.  There is no cost to attend.   

Andrew BuschBusch is Crown Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College, where he teaches courses on American politics and government. He is the author or co-author of more than two dozen scholarly chapters and articles as well as more than a dozen books, including Horses in Midstream: U.S. Midterm Elections and Their Consequences, 1894-1998; Ronald Reagan and the Politics of Freedom; The Front-Loading Problem in Presidential Nominations; The Constitution on the Campaign Trail: The Surprising Political Career of America’s Founding Document; Truman’s Triumphs: The 1948 Election and the Making of Postwar America; and Defying the Odds: The 2016 Elections and American Politics. Busch served as associate dean of the faculty at CMC from 2006-2009 and in 2009-2010 was Ann and Herbert W. Vaughan Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is currently director of the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at CMC and chair of the CMC Government Department. He also taught in the Political Science Department at the University of Denver from 1992-2004 and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine in 2007. Busch received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Colorado and his master of arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Ben BoychukBoychuk is managing editor of American Greatness, a right-leaning journal founded in 2016 during the heat of the presidential campaign. He is a regular columnist with the Sacramento Bee, a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a contributing editor to City Journal. He has spent nearly 25 years in journalism and think tanks, including stints with the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, the Claremont Institute, the Heartland Institute, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Investor’s Business Daily, the Press-Enterprise (Riverside, California), E.W. Scripps and Freedom Communications. He is the former managing editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and his writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, the Chicago Tribune and dozens of newspapers around the country. He lives in southern California.

John DinanDinan is professor of politics at Wake Forest University. His research focuses on state constitutionalism, federalism and American political development.  He is the author of several books including The American State Constitutional Tradition and Keeping the People’s Liberties: Legislators, Citizens, and Judges as Guardians of Rights, and he writes an annual entry on state constitutional developments for The Book of the States. He is the editor of Publius: The Journal of Federalism and is a past chair of the Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Section of the American Political Science Association.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Matthew PetersonPeterson is professor of media politics and culture at John Paul the Great Catholic University. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Thomas Aquinas College, where he wrote his senior thesis, In Defense of Beauty, on the relation between Thomas Aquinas’s notion of beauty to art and knowledge. After receiving his Ph.D. in political philosophy and American government from Claremont Graduate University, he taught at Claremont McKenna College, Loyola Marymount University and the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. His dissertation, The Meaning of the Public Good in the Rhetoric of Ratification, which he is now preparing for publication, examined the meaning of the public good considered as the purpose of government in the public debate over the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. While in graduate school, he was assistant director of the Center for Local Government at the Claremont Institute and assistant to the directors at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College. He has also worked on various political consulting projects in southern California. He spent three years as vice president of Grant Evaluation, Inc., designing and implementing means of evaluating the effectiveness of federal education grants nationally. More recently, he served as vice president of a Los Angeles-based family entertainment company. He has written for publications such as Acculturated, The Federalist and the Claremont Review of Books. His research interests include the common good, corruption and civic renewal, rhetoric, and the reciprocal relationships between our understanding of nature, human beings and media and technology.

For more information or to pre-register, please contact Mary Beth McConahey at 

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The Center for Political and Economic Thought is an interdisciplinary public affairs institution of Saint Vincent College. It sponsors research and education programs, primarily in the fields of politics, economics and moral-cultural affairs. The Center seeks to advance scholarship on philosophical and policy concerns related to freedom and Western civilization with particular regard to the American experience. The Center was founded in 1991 as an outgrowth of the Alex G. McKenna Economic Education Series, which was launched in 1986.

The Center’s programs include: The Alex G. McKenna Economic Education Series, the Government and Political Education Series, the Civitas Forum on Principles and Policies for Public Life, Culture and Policy Conferences and Scholarships and Fellowships. In addition, the Center supports research and educational activities through its staff and it produces numerous publications.

The Center is a part of the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government.


Photos: Andrew Busch, Ben Boychuk, John Dinan, Matthew Peterson


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