The Secret to Making Democracy More Civil and Less Polarized

When Citizens Get to Decide Big Questions for Themselves, They Act More Responsibly Than Their Politicians

“When you take responsibility away from people you make them irresponsible,” proclaimed English politician Sir Keith Joseph almost half a century ago.

Sir Keith might not be a household name outside his native Britain. But his apt phrase neatly justifies how much societies around the world today need more democracy—and more citizen engagement.

When democracies limit citizen participation to voting for political parties, we can blame our misfortunes on the politicians. Under such circumstances, we easily fall prey to demagogues who promise the earth, but who merely are in it …

The Joys of Shearing Ornery, 250-Pound Sheep | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Joys of Shearing Ornery, 250-Pound Sheep

I Left My Tech Job for a Historic Profession That Is Uniquely Egalitarian, Diverse, and Rewarding

My journey to a vocation as a sheep shearer began in 2007 when I moved to California to take a chance on the man who would, happily, become my husband. …

How Museums Help Diverse Nations Reimagine Themselves | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Museums Help Diverse Nations Reimagine Themselves

By Embracing the Ambiguity of Old Myths, the Best Exhibits Broaden a People’s Sense of Belonging

Museums are often dismissed as irrelevant diversions, as places apart, as tombs for pasts that don’t have much to do with the present.

But I study the world’s heritage museums—the …