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 described as a fundamental feature of modern democracy. But there is no democracy where universal suffrage is actually universal.

That may surprise you, because more than 100 countries on Earth claim to have universal suffrage. But by that, they mean only that there are no distinctions between voters based on gender, race, ethnicity, wealth, or literacy.

In reality, all democracies prevent many …

Citizenship Is Useful for a Very Ugly Reason | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Citizenship Is Useful for a Very Ugly Reason

Its Rights and Privileges Are a Way to Deny Respect and Basic Equality Within and Among Nations

Why do we still cling to citizenship?

Certainly, it’s not required to protect your rights. We live in a world of human rights, where slavery is outlawed, gay people can marry, …

How Our Evolving Understanding of Individual Autonomy Led to Human Rights for All

A Cultural Historian Traces Empathy From Epistolary Novels to Abolition to Act Up

In Inventing Human Rights: A History, UCLA historian Lynn Hunt traces the modern concept of Human Rights to a series of mid-18th century epistolary novels with a strong first person …

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Act of Infamy Against Japanese Americans

How a Human Rights Champion Gave in to Racist Suspicion After Pearl Harbor

In recent months, president-elect Donald Trump has said he is considering setting up a registry to track Muslim Americans and foil jihadist plots from being hatched in the United States. …

Are American Children Better Off Today Than They Were in 1989?

The Convention on the Rights of the Child Is the World’s Most Widely Adopted Human Rights Treaty. But 25 Years After Its Passage, the U.S. Still Won't Ratify It.

In 1989, as a new mom and a new doctor, I spent my days tending to young patients as a pediatrician in training, and my nights caring for my own …