Social Entrepreneurship and Civic Engagement

10 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2012 Last revised: 4 Nov 2014

See all articles by Nanette S. Levinson

Nanette S. Levinson

American University - School of International Service

Date Written: 2012


This is an extraordinary time of change and opportunity in higher education with a special focus on civic engagement. Approximately twelve years ago, Thomas Ehrlich’s published his call to action for universities and colleges (Ehrlich, 2000), following several key reports on civic responsibility. He defines civic engagement as “working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and nonpolitical processes” (Ehrlich, 2000, Preface, Page vi). Further, he argues that “a morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore? willing to see the moral and civic dimensions of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments, and to take action when appropriate” (Ehrlich, 2000, Introduction, page xxvi). (Compare this with the writing of Alderson, 2011 who talks about the moral aspects of social entrepreneurship.)

Suggested Citation

Levinson, Nanette S., Social Entrepreneurship and Civic Engagement (2012). APSA 2012 Teaching & Learning Conference, Available at SSRN: or

Nanette S. Levinson (Contact Author)

American University - School of International Service ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States


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