institutions Archives - Ethics & Public Policy Center

People and Their Relationships

When our conception of relationships and relationship-building is based on a vision of the human person as an atomized choice maker who forms bonds for his or her benefit, we should not wonder why institutions decay. Our institutions are in crisis because we are in an identity crisis.

A Time to Build

Yuval Levin’s new book explains that the story of Congress’s decline is also found in other institutions of American life—the family, universities, and churches.

Law Schools and Democracy

Recovering the distinct purposes and characters of our different institutions, rather than seeing them all as interchangeable platforms for screaming at each other about the culture war, is the essence of what a renewal of American civic life would require.

Publius the Institutionalist

Rather than ideology, our political culture at this point is almost entirely the function of a kind of breakdown of our social psychology, unleashed and unmoored from institutional constraints. Revisiting the Federalist Papers can help us to see our modern dilemmas more clearly.

Going Local in a Troubled Time

Finding local solutions to national problems offers an approach better fitting of the diversity of American communities.

The Lure of Outsiderism

Across society, people with roles to play inside institutions instead see those institutions as platforms for them to perform on, and the performance they offer up is generally a morality play about their own marginalization. As a result, too often no one claims ownership of the institutions of our society, and so no one accepts responsibility for them.

American Journalism as an Institution

Journalism faces a crisis of public confidence, a crisis of integrity and trust. While complaints about the media naturally fall into the grooves of popular rejection of elite authority, they often have at least as much to do with skepticism about the integrity of the mainstream media as with its power.