Center for Political Thought and Leadership

Supporting and Advancing American Political Thought and Civic Education

We are a center under the umbrella of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership (SCETL) and we aim to provide resources to learn more about this country's history, foster discussion about today's most contentious topics, and offer life-changing volunteer opportunities.

Free political societies need to be informed and thoughtful societies. Research and teaching in American political thought goes hand in hand with educating American citizens and citizen-leaders. We are committed to furthering these important goals.

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“The School is an academic unit centered on ASU students and the Center is focused on community and K-12 outreach on an outward basis.”

-Associate Director, Adam Seagrave

Experiences that inspire thought and action

From undergraduate conferences and symposia to scholarly meetings and lecture series, we sponsor experiences that illuminate American political principles and inspire thoughtful civic engagement.

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Research to further our understanding

We support scholarship in American political thought through our sponsorship of research journals and special projects, and through our support of visiting and affiliated scholars.

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Partnerships with distinguished institutions

We actively partner with other academic centers and units, both within ASU and at distinguished institutions across the country.

Program Spotlight

Apply for the Civic Leadership Institute

The Civic Leadership Institution (CLI) is a FREE summer program for high school students to learn about civic education while being a part of a college atmosphere.

Next year CLI will be held in one-week sessions over three weeks in different cities to expand our reach to more students and community members. Eligible applicants must be rising high school sophomores, juniors, or seniors, with a minimum of 2.75 GPA.

There will be no fee to attend and students who complete the program will be given a certificate of completion at a later date. There is also an incentivized research opportunity for students and paid opportunities for local teachers.

Applications are not yet available for 2023, but will be posted in March. 

Featured Event

Our Annual Race and the American Story Symposium will take a hard look at issues of race in the US today. Each year, the students and faculty involved in the course participate in a two-day immersive symposium held at a location of significance for the history of race in America.

The goal is to engage in illuminating conversations, listen to unique presentations, encounter local history and culture, and build our community by getting to know one another.

Our Fourth Annual Race and the American Story Symposium will take a hard look at issues of race in the US today and is planned to be held onsite in Spring 2022.

Learn more and sign up.

COVID-19 Updates

Forks Up Masks Up! 

Make sure to adhere to ASU Guidelines regarding masks, social distancing, and remote learning. Those same standards apply to The CPTL's events.

Links: Latest updates | Coronavirus FAQ page | Vaccine FAQ page 

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