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About Us

Last modified Friday, March 21, 2008 11:17 AM

The Rockridge Institute is committed to the democratization of knowledge about politics. Our mission is to deepen and broaden the public's understanding of the political world. Rockridge studies the worldviews, values and ideas behind conservative and progressive policies, issues and political discourse.

Using the tools of neuroscience and cognitive linguistics — combined with decades of practical political experience — Rockridge promotes the effective articulation of progressive values. We do this by monitoring public debate and suggesting both long-term and short-term options for framing that offer a progressive perspective. We work primarily at the level of values and ideas across specific policy areas. At the level of language, we point out ineffective word choices and suggest argument forms and phrasings that better express progressive values.

Examples of those ideas, discussed in articles and papers available on our websites are:

  1. Key progressive values are empathy and responsibility which result in nurturance and protection of self and others;
  2. The purpose of government is to empower and protect its citizens;
  3. Congress is the Constitutionally designated "decider" of war policy;
  4. "Contested concepts," "biconceptualism," and "compound empowerment" are useful ideas for understanding candidates, elections, and policy debates.

A non-profit, non-partisan organization, the Rockridge Institute does not endorse or oppose any candidate for elected office or any political party. Rockridge scholars and researchers, working under the direction of Senior Fellow George Lakoff, are committed to American progressive ideals.

Our stakeholders are politically engaged and committed individuals and organizations. They are the designers and implementers of public policy, programs, campaigns and initiatives; the drafters of legislation and the crafters of compelling messages; reporters and commentators keeping critical stories alive in print and on the internet; teachers, watchdogs, whistleblowers and activists working locally and regionally on a myriad of fronts and in every sector.

What's Next
While the Rockridge Institute closed in April 2008, the Institute's staff remain committed to fulfilling the progressive vision it advocated and are available for consultations, trainings, and speaking engagements.

Find out more.
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