The Radical Paradox of Sweden’s Consensus Culture

Our Inclination to Agree Pushes Political and Social Policies to Extremes

In the 1930s, the American journalist Marquis Childs, after spending time in Sweden, wrote the bestselling book Sweden: The Middle Way. Childs described a country without major social conflicts between the upper and lower classes. He was fascinated by the Swedish economic system, which he described as a perfect compromise between free and controlled markets. In the United States, the book made a great impact on President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he sought support for the New Deal. Childs found it remarkable that you could have “a royal family, a …

Why ‘Frankenstein’ Is a Great Science Policy Guide for the Future

Mary Shelley's 200-Year-Old Fable Explores the Tension Between Scientific Creativity and Social Responsibility

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley’s epic tale about the perils of scientific creation, turns 200 this year. Its famous creation story involves laudanum, and sexual tension, and an …

Think Big, California!

Lacking Ambitious Goals, the State Seems Content to Drift, Waste Money, and Keep Doing the Same Old Things

In today’s California, we set big, ambitious goals for improving energy efficiency, fighting climate change, and, well, not much else.

Governor Jerry Brown’s inaugural address this month was a case in …

The Windy City Says Bring It On, Immigration Reform

Chicago Can Process the Paperwork, Integrate the Newcomers, and Get Them Working

What might comprehensive immigration reform look like—around the country and in Chicago, a longtime city of immigrants—if Congress passes a bill that gives the 11 million undocumented people living in …

First Comes Immigration Reform, Then Comes … What?

Assessing the Challenges Facing a Half-Million Chicagoans

Congress’ passage of a comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill would mark the end of a contentious political battle. But for undocumented immigrants all over the country—as well as their families, …

The Stimulus-Sequester Seesaw

What Will Determine Whether Austerity Prevails?

Over the past year, the United States has seesawed from stimulus to sequester. Right now, we’re cutting spending in order to reduce the nation’s deficit, but in President Obama’s first …