Managed Civics and Biodefense
Chapter 5 empirically assesses civic response in Galveston where a managed civics and discourse predominated, wherein the civically engaged mostly downplayed the risks posed by federal biodefense plans and a local NBL and, instead, emphasized its possible contributions to their island’s and the nation’s—even the world’s—“progress.” Residents expressed little of the skepticism shared in the other cases and mostly faith in the power of humankind, with the aid of enlightened leadership, scientific knowledge, technology, and economy to progressively improve and reshape their island community for the better. As with the other cases, Galveston’s civically engaged relied on claims and justifications that emerged from a specific civic and political history. That legacy and the civic relations, conventions, and virtues associated with that history helped ease locals toward accepting and eventually embracing biodefense plans and an NBL as an asset to both them and their collective future on the island.
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