The Civic Engagement Initiative is housed at the Price School of Public Policy, and includes a group of scholars from USC Price, as well as from other schools and departments at USC. The vision of the initiative is to create more just and livable communities, to nurture a new generation of scholars to continue innovative research in the field, and to build community partnerships for improving the quality and effectiveness of civic engagement in Southern California, the nation, and around the world.
The initiative’s ultimate goals are to offer new ways of thinking about participatory democracy and governance, and to partner with residents and civic leaders to create living examples of how it works in local neighborhoods and institutions. Southern California serves as a laboratory for CEI in the application and testing of theoretical work about how to encourage effective civic engagement. The results of this applied research are then shared with other civic engagement scholars and civic actors in the U.S. and worldwide.
The Neighborhood Participation Project is part of CEI. Begun in 1996, the project team researches political participation in Los Angeles at the neighborhood level, and documents the city’s growing neighborhood council movement.