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Thu 14

September 14

A New Definition of Citizenship: Rights and Obligations

Common Ground Committee

Location: Online


When we consider the meaning of citizenship, most Americans usually think about individual rights. In this episode, we hear a bold call for change. Our guest, Richard Haass, says that if democracy is to survive, we must re-envision citizenship and consider our obligations to one another.

He argues that the greatest threat the country faces comes not from foreign adversaries but from none other than ourselves. Finding common ground and healing bitter divides, he says, requires placing obligations on the same footing as rights. “We get the government and the country we deserve. Getting the one we need is up to us.”

A highly experienced diplomat and policymaker, Dr. Haass served in the Pentagon, State Department, and White House under four Presidents, Democrat and Republican alike. His new book is “The Bill of Obligations. The Ten Habits of Good Citizens”. For 20 years Richard Haass was president of the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations. Today he serves as CFR’s president emeritus.