Within a given political or ethical tradition, civics refers to educating the citizens The history of civics dates back to the earliest theories of these by Plato in ancient Greece and Confucius in ancient China. These in general have led to modern distinctions between the West and the East, and two very different concepts of right and justice and ethics in public life.
Of special concern are the choice of a form of government and (if this is any form of democracy) the design of an electoral system and ongoing electoral reform. This involves explicitly comparing voting systems, wealth distribution and the decentralization of political and legal power, control of legal systems and adoption of legal codes, and even political privacy—all seen as important to avoid a dystopic carceral state or a lapse into some undesirable state of totalitarianism or theocracy. Each of these concerns tends to make the process of governance different, as variations in these norms tend to produce a quite different kind of state. Civics was often simply concerned with the balance of power between say an aristocracy and monarchy—a concern echoed to this day in the struggles for power between different levels of rulers—say of the weaker nation-states to establish a binding international law that will have an effect even on the stronger ones. Thus world government is itself properly a civic problem.
On smaller scales, modern human development theory attempts to unify ethics and small-scale politics with the urban and rural economics of sustainable development. Notable theorists including Jane Jacobs and Carol Moore argue that political secession of either cities or distinct bioregions and cultures is an essential pre-requisite to applying any widely shared ethics, as the ethical views of urban and rural people, different cultures or those engaged in different types of agriculture, are irreconcilably different. This extreme advocacy of decentralization is hardly uncommon, and leads to the minimal theory of civics - anarchism.
Note: examples are included only to help familiarize readers with the basic idea of the scale—they are not intended to be conclusive or to categorize these individuals other than the civics that they exercise or exemplify.
Civics refers not to the ethical or moral or political basis by which a ruler acquires power, but only to the processes and procedures they follow in actually exercising it. Thus, some figures, e.g. Napoleon, count as totalitarian because they instituted a legal code and altered rules of succession to favor themselves and their families. Meanwhile, other figures who were arguably more cruel or arbitrary are ranked as examples of lesser public trust, because in practice they followed clearer procedures.
Revival in Civics Education Is Explored; Bush Task Force Aims to Use Sept. 11 to Galvanize Effort in American Schools
May 12, 2002; Advisers to President Bush are developing an ambitious package of policies to convert the patriotic outpouring sparked by Sept....
THE NEXT GENERATION OF CIVICS EDUCATION REMARKS OF U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ARNE DUNCAN AT THE ICIVICS "EDUCATING FOR DEMOCRACY IN A DIGITAL AGE" CONFERENCE.(Conference news)
Mar 29, 2011; WASHINGTON, DC -- The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Education: I want to extend my thanks to the...