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 protests against the Vietnam War. But the roots of American grassroots political activism actually date back further to movements that contested the most basic democratic rights in the South during the late 19th century.

One place to see those roots is in the Gilded Age politics of Arkansas, then a hotbed of farmer, labor, and biracial political movements. The Arkansas story …

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 …

Why Democracies Need the Right to Vote “No”

To Boost Participation and Promote Compromise, Taiwan and Berkeley May Let Citizens Cast Ballots Against Candidates

If we want our civic life to be more positive, we might need to vote in the negative.

That’s the compelling case that Sam Chang, a retired banker who lives in …

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 …

Why Single-Party Domination of Hawai‘i Politics Is Harmful to the Aloha State

The Democrats' Near-Monopoly Makes Voters Tune Out, Sidesteps Urgent Policy Questions, and Places Factional Infighting Above Shared Ideals

Most Americans have become accustomed to the bitter divide between Republicans and Democrats in Washington. Yet closely fought competition between the parties is the exception rather than the rule in …