Why Single-Party Domination of Hawai‘i Politics Is Harmful to the Aloha State

The Democrats' Near-Monopoly Makes Voters Tune Out, Sidesteps Urgent Policy Questions, and Places Factional Infighting Above Shared Ideals

Most Americans have become accustomed to the bitter divide between Republicans and Democrats in Washington. Yet closely fought competition between the parties is the exception rather than the rule in many state capitals. In 34 states, a single party controls both houses of the state’s legislature and holds the governorship. In 1992, this state government trifecta existed in only 16.

No state is more dominated by a single political party than Hawai‘i. Today, there are no Republicans in Hawai‘i’s state senate and there are only five Republicans out of 51 members …

How Will California Survive the End of America’s Empire?

A Trip to Rome Offers Old Lessons, Young City Officials, and Inspiration for How to Rebuild Democracy on Imperial Ruins

How will California survive the end of the American empire?

The question might seem hypothetical, but I found it inescapable last week in Rome, where I was running a global forum …

Suppressing Voting Rights Is as Old as the Republic—But the Tactics Keep Changing 

Discriminatory State Constitutions, Poll and Literacy Taxes, and Now Photo ID Laws All Have Been Used to Keep Ballots From the Less Powerful 

The more that efforts to suppress voting rights in America change, the more they remain the same.

From the earliest days of the republic to the present, politicians have sought to …

How Venezuela’s Oil Riches Fueled a Literary Explosion

In the Mid-20th Century, Writers Seized on the Conflicts Laid Bare by Petroleum's Power to Reshape Society

On December 14, 1922, a gusher of petroleum was discovered in Zulia, a rural area of western Venezuela. For nine days the oil showered onto the surrounding farmland, scaring the …

Can Democracy Be an Agent of Both Power and Goodness?

To Promote True Civic Virtue, Our System of Government Needs an Ethical Compass and to Actively Engage Citizens

Of all the political words that trip off our tongues yet bedevil understanding, one of the most important is “democracy.”

Strictly translated, it signifies authoritative power (kratos) by the citizenry …

Why I’m Staying in Rome, Even While It Crumbles 

A British Novelist Will Remain in the Eternal City Because of What Its Past Can Teach About Surviving the Present

When I tell Romans I have been a resident of their city for the last 16 years and have no desire to live anywhere else, they’re often a little baffled. …