6265 Crescent Road, UBC
Vancouver, British Columbia

The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education will be hosting a lecture by Robert Putnam at 8:00 pm on Saturday April 14, 2007, at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, the University of British Columbia.

Robert Putnam has been described as the most influential academic in the world today. His book Bowling Alone (2000), a modern classic, seems to have struck a chord with many concerned with the state of public life. He has made some influential friends in recent years. He has been the focus of seminars hosted by Bill Clinton at Camp David, Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street, George W. Bush at the White House, and Muammar Qaddafi at his tent in the desert.

The decline of civil engagement in the USA over the last 30 years or so, which he charted in Bowling Alone, has worried a number of politicians and commentators. Robert Putnam’s marshalling of evidence with regard to this shift; his identification of the causes; and his argument that within the new circumstances new institutions of civic engagement can arise has made him the centre of attention.

According to William Julius Wilson of Harvard,

"Bowling Alone is a tour de force. Robert Putnam has amassed an impressive array of evidence for his original and powerful thesis on the decline of social capital and civic engagement in the past several decades. This thought-provoking book will stimulate huge academic and national public policy debates on the crisis of American community."

With surprisingly conclusive results, Putnam shows the deterioration of America's social framework. This process also leads to a growing distance from neighbours, friends and even family members. Since well-connected people are reportedly living longer, happier lives, the list of side effects of the Bowling Alone phenomenon is long and alarming.

Curtis Gans of Washington Monthly calls Bowling Alone "a formidable book.... There is no place, in my knowledge, where so much about the current disconnectedness of American Society has been uncovered, assembled, and presented as in the text, charts, and notes within [Bowling Alone]."
Civic Engagement in a Changing World

Saturday April 14, 2007
8:00 pm
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (www.chancentre.com)
Tickets On Sale Via Ticketmaster Beginning March 10

Tickets ($22; $17 students and seniors) will be on sale Saturday March 10 at 12:00 noon at all Ticketmaster Ticket Centres, through www.ticketmaster.ca or 604.280.3311, and in person at the Chan Centre ticket office daily except Sundays from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm.

The event is hosted by the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education and sponsored by the Vancouver Board of Trade and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Professor John Helliwell of UBC, a long-time friend and collaborator, will introduce.
About Robert Putnam

Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. Raised in a small town in the Midwest and educated at Swarthmore, Oxford, and Yale, he has served as Dean of the Kennedy School of Government.

In 2006, Putnam received the Skytte Prize, one of the world's highest accolades for a political scientist.

He is currently working on three major empirical projects: (1) the changing role of religion in contemporary America, (2) the effects of workplace practices on family and community life, and (3) practical strategies for civic renewal in the United States in the context of immigration and social and ethnic diversity.

Official Website: http://www.dalailamacentre.org

Added by thegreenpages on March 10, 2007



As a former sociology major I can not recommend Putnam's work enough. I based a research project off of this book. Thanks for letting me know about this event.