Are California Elections a Triumph of Democracy—or a Defeat? 

The Golden State Keeps Making It Easier to Vote, and Harder to Understand What to Vote For

It was the best of California elections. It was the worst of California elections.

Consider the paradox, if you will, of this moment of democratic triumph, which is also a moment of democratic defeat.

It has never been easier to vote in California than it is right now.

And it has never been harder to figure out what to vote for.

In one sense, the March elections in California represent the culmination of several years of herculean efforts to extend Californians’ voting rights. Not long ago, California had one of the lowest voter …

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 …

Your Vote Is More Polarized Than You Are | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Your Vote Is More Polarized Than You Are

American Politicians Are More Divided Than Ever. American People? Maybe Not

If you consider only the names on our ballots and the voices on cable news, answering the question posed by this Zócalo/UCLA Anderson School of Management event is easy. “Is …

The 19th Century Labor Movement That Brought Black and White Arkansans Together

In 1888, Small Farmers, Sharecroppers, and Industrial Workers Organized to Fight Inequality

Today, when Americans think about the tradition of political protest to protect democracy, they often recall the mid-20th century, when millions of Americans participated in the civil rights movement and …

Complacency—Not Hubris—Is What Killed the Roman Republic

Over the Years, Democratic Norms Quietly Eroded, Not Unlike in Today's America

Representative democracies have wildly different life expectancies, but they tend not to live long.

Democratic governments have existed for more than 2,500 years, but most democracies have historically failed to survive …

The U.S. Overestimates Its Power to Promote Democracy or Enable Authoritarians

Instead of Meddling in Other People’s Governments, Americans Should Work on Their Own Democracy, and Its Credibility

The United States has neither the credibility to effectively promote democracy abroad nor the power to impose its will in favor of or against authoritarian regimes.

Those twinned arguments were among …