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Mission Statement

The Civitas Project for the Interdisciplinary Study of Political Society and Civic Life links the analytical rigor of the social sciences with the philosophical, historical, and normative richness of the liberal arts to inform public understanding of the principles and policies of civic life. Housed in the Hobby School of Public Affairs in the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Science (CLASS), the Civitas Project is uniquely poised to engage the diverse resources of the city of Houston and of its university in four key areas of inquiry:

  1. The constitutional and social order of a just political community.
  2. The moral and political dimensions of economics.
  3. The relation of the arts and sciences to politics.
  4. The role of the Academy --- the University of Houston --- in informing, elevating, and educating civic discourse.

In undertaking this inquiry at the level of both principle and policy, the Civitas Project aims at excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, scholarly research, and public outreach.

Civitas restores the traditional role of the social sciences and liberal arts—the “human sciences”—as the source of moral, cultural, and political renewal and as the core of the education of citizens. This education is the lifeblood of every civitas, every “city,” every “commonwealth,” every “republic” in which citizens must decide their own fates.

If a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilization,
it expects what never was & never will be.
-Thomas Jefferson


The Hobby School of Public Affairs thanks Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) for their support of the Civitas Project. Learn more about BB&T at