COVID-19 Is Magnifying the ‘Politics of Division’

Zócalo's 2019 Book Prize Winner Warns That Democracies Must Embrace the Politics of Hope and Unity 

The COVID-19 pandemic has come at a critical historical moment. For the last two decades or so—since the collapse of the Soviet Union and communist rule in Eastern Europe—we have seen a growing erosion of liberal democracy in the West.

The reasons for this are complex and related. The disappearance of an alternative and competing political-ideological system has accelerated the accumulation of wealth and political power in ever narrower circles. This has greatly undermined the middle class, which feels, rightly, that it has been left behind. And younger generations have grown angry that, …

Are California Elections a Triumph of Democracy—or a Defeat?  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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 …

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 …