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 …

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 …

Why Privacy Might Not Be Worth Protecting | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Privacy Might Not Be Worth Protecting

A Recent Invention, It Has Never Been a Universal Value—Nor Is It Essential to Democracy  

Is privacy overrated?

The question might seem daft, given how gravely privacy is endangered in our digital age. Spies in government and the private sector routinely devour data for insights into …

Conspiracy and Complicity Got Our Democracy Here | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Conspiracy and Complicity Got Our Democracy Here

What Role Have We All Played in the Spread of Disinformation and the Rise of Authoritarianism?

Two phenomena have characterized the outgoing Trump administration and spilled over to other countries around the world. The first is the astonishing power of conspiracy theories. The second is the …

Why Californians—of Both Parties—Should Embrace the Recall | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Californians—of Both Parties—Should Embrace the Recall

Even When You Don’t Want to Remove a Politician, the Vote Provides a Healthy Democratic Dose of Self-Examination

Californians should love me, even when I’m used against a politician you like.

At the very least, I hope you’ll appreciate me if Gov. Gavin Newsom, who won office overwhelmingly in …

Don’t Tear Down L.A.’s Notorious Men’s Central Jail  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Don’t Tear Down L.A.’s Notorious Men’s Central Jail 

Transforming the Facility Into a Museum and Democracy Center Would Allow California to Remember Its Carceral Cruelty—And Create a Different Future

One of California’s most notorious jails could close in 2021. But if the state truly wants to leave its carceral history in the past and create a more open and …