California’s Recall Is Riding a Global Wave

From Nigeria to Brazil, Democracies Are Experimenting With New Ways for People to Hold Their Elected Officials Accountable

The recall attempt against Gov. Gavin Newsom is being widely—and wrongly—dismissed as a peculiar and illegitimate consequence of California’s strange direct democracy.

The truth is that the recall is very much a piece of a large and desperate global search for tools to hold powerful elected leaders accountable.

You can see the hunger for methods—any methods—to remove faltering officials in every corner of the world.

Recently, for example, a leading Nigerian scholar, Maduabuchi Ogidi of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education in Owerri, wrote in infuriating detail how the democratization of his …

More In: The Democracy Column

The Internet Needs Its Own Government | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Internet Needs Its Own Democratic Government

The Digital World Should Be Ruled by an Independent Coalition Beyond the Reach of Big Tech and Nation-States 

Today’s methods for governing the internet do not constitute a coherent system, much less a democratic one.

Instead, internet governance is a contest for power between the most powerful tech companies, …

The Right to Vote Should Be a Human Right | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Right to Vote Should Be a Human Right

Making Universal Suffrage Truly Universal Will Make Our World More Unified—And Democratic

How can we make universal suffrage truly universal?

That such a question must be asked points out a democratic paradox. Universal suffrage—the term meaning that everyone has the right to vote—is …