A Letter From Santiago, Where Chileans Are Seeking a New Constitution

Hopes Are High for Transforming the Country's Democracy, but the Risks May Be Even Higher

Chile is raising hopes and winning praise worldwide as it elects delegates to a new convention with the goal of replacing the current constitution, a 1980 product of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. But from here in Santiago, where I live and work as a political scientist, the path to a new, and more democratic governing document looks full of dangers, some of them posed by democracy itself.

The high expectations surrounding Chile, population 19 million, now reflect just how distinct its history and present are. It was the first country in the …

In Liechtenstein, Power to the People—And the Prince | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Liechtenstein, Power to the People—And the Prince

For Nearly a Century, the Small European Nation Has Fused Monarchy and Direct Democracy Into a Government That Works

Liechtenstein, the nation of 38,500 in the heart of Europe, has for nearly a century deftly governed itself by combining two seemingly contradictory elements: direct democracy and monarchy. Rather than …

Could The Politicians’ #Calexit Fantasy Bring Real Change?  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Could The Politician‘s #Calexit Fantasy Bring Real Change? 

The Golden State Should Write a Fairer, More Equal American Constitution for the 21st Century

“Go to my website or use the hashtag #LetsGetTheCalOuttaHere,” shouts Gwyneth Paltrow in the Netflix series The Politician. Running for governor on a promise to lead California’s secession from the …

Why Mexico City Is the Capital of California’s Future | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Mexico City Is the Capital of California’s Future

The New Constitution of Mexico’s Capital Inspires Badly Needed Democracy and Local Sovereignty

For more than two decades of the 19th century, Mexico City was California’s national capital.

I wish it could be again.

Over the past two years, I’ve visited Mexico City regularly …

Why America Keeps Battling to Live Up to the 14th Amendment

From Its Post-Civil War Origins to Today's Immigration Debates, the Constitutional Guarantee of Equal Protection and 'Birthright Citizenship' Has Been Bitterly Contested

The first clause of the 14th Amendment is a scant 28 words long. Yet when the amendment was adopted on July 9, 1868, it advanced the crucial task of turning …

How Alexander Hamilton Fought the Tyranny of the Majority

By Shielding British Loyalists From Persecution, the Founder Elevated Principles Over Prejudice

The struggles of America’s cultural outsiders to be included in the country—in the face of disparagement, exclusion, or punishment—are as old as the nation. And, as Alexander Hamilton discovered in …