A Givers, Doers, and Thinkers Webinar: The Fragility of Citizenship


What does it mean to be a citizen of these United States? Not the same question: what does United States citizenship mean? The understanding of those words—what defines them, who is entitled to the status, what threatens them, how meaningful they are to civil society—are questions as infrequently considered as their answers are important.

These questions will be asked and answered by two accomplished and acclaimed authors, two public intellectuals who have put copious time and thought into what it means to be a citizen, particularly in the United States, whether American citizenship faces a dubious future, and how that possibility can be short-circuited. The hour-long conversation will provide an unvarnished look into how tenuous “citizenship” has been as a force and status throughout history, its use and abuse in the dynamics of America’s current cultural turmoil, its centrality to the American experiment and to the reality of American exceptionalism, whether citizenship is in need of saving, and, if so, how that might be accomplished.



Jack Fowler, senior fellow at the Center for Civil Society, will moderate the discussion with two experts on the meaning of citizenship in America:

  • Tony Woodlief, the author of the critically acclaimed I, Citizen: A Blueprint for Reclaiming American Self-Governance, is State Policy Network’s Senior Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow for SPN’s Center for Practical Federalism. Through his research on American public opinion, Tony has discovered that America is more united than divided, traced the source of our perceived animosity to a small minority of dedicated partisans within the political establishment of Washington, D.C., and concluded that Americans can reclaim the right to self-governance by focusing on solutions and commonalities closer to home. 
  • Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist. A farmer, historian, classicist, and political and cultural commentator, Hanson served on the American Battle Monuments Commission, the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission, and currently serves on the Bradley Foundation Board of Directors. He is the author of several bestsellers, including The Second World WarsThe Case for TrumpMexifornia, and The Dying Citizen.

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