In Liechtenstein, Power to the People—And the Prince

For Nearly a Century, the Small European Nation Has Fused Monarchy and Direct Democracy Into a Government That Works

Liechtenstein, the nation of 38,500 in the heart of Europe, has for nearly a century deftly governed itself by combining two seemingly contradictory elements: direct democracy and monarchy. Rather than seeing monarchy and direct democracy as “either-or” options, the people of Liechtenstein have affirmed their belief that the two combined better serve the people.

Liechtenstein’s constitution of 1921 first established the principle that is still valid today: namely that the authority of the state is anchored in the Prince and the People. The demand was based on the growing …

What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today?

Before the Rise of Caesar, the Roman Statesman Predicted How the Spread of Lawlessness Could Destroy a Republic

At some point in the early summer of 54 BC, the Roman statesman Cicero set to work on his most consequential work of political philosophy: De Re publica (On the …

How a Public Railroad Saved Alaska | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How a Public Railroad Saved Alaska

Long Before Statehood, the Progressive Era Made the Last Frontier Possible

Alaska officially became a state in 1959, but its modern origins occurred in the two decades that followed the discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1896.

At the turn …

For California’s New Governor, Big Mistakes Will Lead to Greatness

Gavin Newsom Can’t Make Meaningful Progress on Health Care or Housing Without an Appetite for Risk

Gavin, screw up. Please.

Make mistakes. Big ones. Because the state you’re about to start running needs more screw-ups.

The transition now taking place in the California governor’s office feels both historic …

Why It’s So Tough to Grow Old in Hawai‘i

The Aloha State's Isolation and High Costs of Living Make the Challenges of Serving Seniors All the Harder

As our nation’s population rapidly ages, each state’s future depends on the ability of its senior citizens to adapt to the accelerating pace of change. Hawai‘i is no different, and has …

The 1918 Flu Pandemic That Revolutionized Public Health

Mass Death Changed How We Think About Illness, and Government's Role in Treating It

Nearly 100 years ago, in 1918, the world experienced the greatest tidal wave of death since the Black Death, possibly in the whole of human history. We call that tidal …