Boyle Heights Is Where Democracy Happens

Celebrating a Los Angeles Neighborhood Nexus for New Arrivals, Community Organizing, and Creativity

The Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights has long demonstrated the resiliency, openness to immigrants, and commitment to democratic action that the United States desperately needs now, said speakers at a Zócalo event last night.

The event, titled “Can Boyle Heights Save America?” streamed online. But it was deeply grounded in the small details and larger meanings of a neighborhood—sitting above the Los Angeles River, across from downtown and between the 10 and 5 freeways—that has long been a place for Southern California’s new arrivals.

USC historian and professor of American …

The Internet Needs Its Own Government | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Internet Needs Its Own Democratic Government

The Digital World Should Be Ruled by an Independent Coalition Beyond the Reach of Big Tech and Nation-States 

Today’s methods for governing the internet do not constitute a coherent system, much less a democratic one.

Instead, internet governance is a contest for power between the most powerful tech companies, …

A Letter From Santiago, Where Chileans Are Seeking a New Constitution | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

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 …

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 …