How to Be a Citizen: Learning to Be Civil Without the State by C. L Skach publishes today with Basic Books in the US.


In How to Be a Citizen, Skach calls to move beyond constitutions. She argues that just as complex natural systems spontaneously generate order, we can, too. Looking to pandemic gardens, Reggio-Emilia schools, and community-driven safety patrols, she envisions not government by force, but society that is local, cultivated, and true. Grounded in six principles as simple as a call to spend time on a park bench, this book shows how community spaces, education, and markets can be reshaped to nurture cooperation and encourage flourishing.   

Equal parts personal, philosophical, and practical, How to Be a Citizen invites us to see society not as something imposed by law, but rather something we create together.

Reviews for How to Be a Citizen:

“Necessary reading for those who wish to foster civil discourse and societal cooperation.”―Kirkus

“Cindy Skach leads us to reexamine the virtues of a good citizen, one whom people can respect and value as a member of their community.”―Roger Myerson, University of Chicago, 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economics

“ Skach describes brilliantly, with compelling examples, six ways to become better citizens and thereby improve our own wellbeing while helping to build a better world from the ground up.”―Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn

“This is an incredibly thought-provoking work addressing the crises of governance we face today.”―Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School

“ This book will help you understand the mess we’re in while providing a roadmap for a better future.”
 ―Ben Rawlence, author of The Treeline

If you haven’t already you can get your copy here