• Essay

    How Young Armenians Forced Their President to Resign

    A Disenchanted Generation Surprised Itself by Bringing Down a Corrupt, Incompetent Government

    By Garnik Giloyan

    In February, if you’d asked me whether Armenia would have a democratic revolution this spring, I would have said no. So would have everyone I know. So what explains this ...

New at Zócalo

The Takeaway

The U.S. and Mexico Aren't yet One Country, but They're Becoming One Region

Despite Nasty Rhetoric and Political Conflict, These North American Neighbors Keep Drawing Closer Through Trade, Culture, and Shared Interests

By Reed Johnson

    If you want to know where U.S.-Mexico relations are heading, Andrew Selee suggests, don’t just listen to the vitriol flying around Washington these days.
    Instead, consider this week’s announcement that the 2026 soccer World Cup will be jointly hosted by the three nations that make up North America—Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Or take note of the three Mexican filmmakers who’ve won the Academy Award for Best Director in recent years. Or look at the increasing technology swaps going on between Silicon Valley and south-of-the-border cities like Guadalajara.
    Selee, a scholar of U.S.-Mexico relations, made the case that the United States and its neighbor are drawing ever closer together in a Zócalo Public ...


Guadalajara's Transition From Tequila to High Tech

Offering a Model for Mexico's Future, the City Reinvented Itself as an R&D Hub

By Andrew Selee

    In 2009, as the economy of Silicon Valley started to recover from the financial crisis, Bismarck Lepe, a tech entrepreneur with a Stanford pedigree and a few years working at Google under his belt, began looking around the world for cities to put his new business, Ooyala, which provides online video solutions for business.
    He knew that the venture capital companies would be ready to open the tap again after the economic slowdown. He also believed that Ooyala was ripe for a big expansion. But Silicon Valley was simply too expensive to try to hire a full staff there.
    He was more than a little surprised when the colleague he had asked to assess options around the world came back with the suggestion of Mexico’s second largest city, Guadalajara. “I was originally a little hesitant,” admits Lepe, “given that my parents had left Mexico.” ...

Connecting California Joe Mathews

  • My Plan for Building the Perfect California City

    Welcome to 'Joeville,' Where the First Rule Is Not to Play by the Rules

        Recently a startup founder in San Jose asked me a question: What would you do if you were starting a California city?
        My first answer: Get my head examined.
      &ensop; For 40 years, the state government and California voters ...

  • From Voting to Tech Innovation, California Ranks First at Second Best

    Whether in Sacramento, Silicon Valley, or El Segundo, Golden Staters Now Prefer to Follow the Leader

        The world over, people long to finish first. But in California, it’s better to be second best.
        This is the larger truth at the center of the Golden State’s June 5 first-round elections for ...

  • Even Kafka Couldn't Dream up California's Surreal Housing Crisis

    The Late Prague Novelist Visits the Golden State, Which Is Metamorphosing Into a Nightmare

        I keep hearing you Californians calling your state’s housing crisis Kafkaesque.
        You are far too kind: I never imagined a bureaucratic nightmare this cruel, absurd, and surreal. ...

  • Video Highlights

    Looking Back at Four Years of “What It Means to Be American”

    The Smithsonian/ASU/Zócalo Project on U.S. History and Identity Is Just Getting Started

    Since its launch on April 14, 2014, the "What It Means to Be American" project has convened 12 events in seven cities and published more than 300 essays on American history and identity. And we're just getting started. Here's a look back at where we've been, and where we're going.