Should all adult citizens in our democracy participate in one year of mandatory national service?
How a democracy develops and keeps a sense of national unity and identity is very important. In part to address these needs, many democracies have some form of mandatory civilian or military national service. National service generally means citizen participation in a mandatory program—sponsored or conducted by the government—to address a national public need. Supporters of mandatory national service argue that it can create in citizens a commitment to country and a responsibility to others. Opponents of mandatory national service argue that it puts the needs of the state ahead of the rights of citizens.
Articles and Papers
- Bandow, Douglas, “National Service: Utopias Revisited,” Cato Policy Analysis No. 190 (Washington, DC: The Cato Institute, March 15, 1993)
- Bass, Melissa, “National Service in America: Policy (Dis)Connections Over Time,” CIRCLE Working Paper 11 (College Park, Maryland: The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, October 2003)
- Brookings Institution, United We Serve: National Service and the Future of Citizenship, Symposium Transcript, Washington, DC, (July 30, 2003)
- “For Life and Freedom,” Resolution of the Third International Congress of Soldiers’ Mothers (Moscow: Union of the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia, 2002)
- Spalding, Matthew, and Krista Kafer, “AmeriCorps: Still a Bad Idea for Citizen Service,” Research: Urban Issues Backgrounder 1564 (Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation, June 28, 2002)
- "Should National Service Be Required?" National Public Radio (November 19, 2001)
- "Service, Sacrifice Must Include Privileged" National Public Radio (July 10, 2007)