My Jewish Ancestors Fled Spain. Will Returning Feel Like Home—Or Just Another Diaspora?

Pursuing the Country’s Offer of Citizenship Feels Like Claiming Privilege When What I Want to Claim Is Justice

When the government of Spain passed a law that offered citizenship to the descendants of Jewish people expelled 500 years ago by the Inquisition, half the people I knew sent me copies of news reports about it, or wrote and asked if I planned to pursue Spanish citizenship.

No, I always said. It sounded like a ploy for tourist dollars. And besides, I wasn’t even sure I could prove my connection.

My parents were born in Mexico and fled north to California in the U.S. in 1914 and 1930, respectively, during the …

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 …

Bound Together Across an Arbitrary Dividing Line | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Bound Together Across an Arbitrary Dividing Line

Regionalia Explores an Alternative Form of Citizenship on the U.S.-Mexico Border

The word region comes from the Latin regere, meaning “to rule.” It is etymologically related to the Latin regio or “district.” In turn, “district” comes from the Latin distringere meaning …

Citizenship Is Useful for a Very Ugly Reason | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Citizenship Is Useful for a Very Ugly Reason

Its Rights and Privileges Are a Way to Deny Respect and Basic Equality Within and Among Nations

Why do we still cling to citizenship?

Certainly, it’s not required to protect your rights. We live in a world of human rights, where slavery is outlawed, gay people can marry, …

Preaching Civility Won’t Save American Democracy

Only by Learning to Communicate as Citizens, Not Propagandists, Can We Avert Political Tragedy

It’s obvious that our political discourse is broken. People don’t just yell at one another on cable television, they also do it in restaurants, and on social media. Our communities …