The Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) conducts and supports research on civic engagement practice and theory. Of particular interest is the use of technology to enhance and inform citizen engagement in our democracy, as well as to enhance and inform government decision-making and service delivery.

Our current research agenda reflects our interest in the following questions:

  • What are the most effective strategies for helping the public become more informed and engaged in our democracy? (By 'more informed' we mean more aware of public policy issues and a better understanding of those issues; and by 'more engaged' we mean participate more fully in our democracy through participation in voting, civic voice, deliberative processes, or civic action activities.)

  • What is the extent and nature of the digital divide, and what strategies are being taken to effectively narrow this divide?

  • How can we help government become more responsive to citizen input, particularly through the use of technology and deliberative dialogues?

  • How can we provide opportunities for youth, college students, and adults to develop skills necessary to become future leaders?

  • IPCE has two distinct research programs. Research Partnerships are either staff-initiated or developed closely with UIC faculty. The Civic Engagement Research Fund is a competitive research award that supports UIC faculty-initiated research projects.

    Civic Engagement Research Partnerships


    Civic Engagement Research Fund


    Dialogue & Deliberation for Civic Engagement in Chicago


    Civic Engagement & Democracy Lecture Series


    Matt Leighninger

    2012 Featured Speaker

    IPCE brings leading thinkers, scholars, and practitioners to UIC. The series fosters dialogue on important topics that further understanding about the role of the university in facilitating and promoting civic engagement and strengthening democracy.

    Visit past lectures on our YouTube Page.