Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE)


The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) focuses on the political life of young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged. CIRCLE’s scholarly research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a better democracy.


The leading source of authoritative research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans, CIRCLE works nationally with youth-serving organizations to help them understand and assess the impact of their programming, as well as make the case for policy and infrastructure that supports youth engagement. CIRCLE’s research, which is widely cited in scholarly publications and national media outlets, changes public discourse about young people as citizens, showing that youth opinion and actions are important and valuable to democracy.

As part of the Tufts academic community, CIRCLE supports and conducts research within Tisch College and across the university. Examining the Tufts student population, CIRCLE collaborates on a unique longitudinal study on the impact of Tisch College’s work and has explored topics such as the connection between civic engagement and psychosocial well-being.

The Director of CIRCLE, Peter Levine, also serves as the Associate Dean for Research and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tisch College.

Visit the CIRCLE website to learn more about their groundbreaking research on youth engagement.

Featured Research

Each election year, the headlines about youth voters tend to be the same. The relatively low turnout rate is usually lamented, and sometimes there is some analysis of whether one party (usually the Democrats) benefited from youth support. But it is important to see complexities and derive subtler lessons. Here are CIRCLE’s eight takeaways from the 2014 election, each of which suggests only the beginning of a story about young people and politics. Explore CIRCLE’s 2014 Election Center.