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 …

Your Vote Is More Polarized Than You Are | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Your Vote Is More Polarized Than You Are

American Politicians Are More Divided Than Ever. American People? Maybe Not

If you consider only the names on our ballots and the voices on cable news, answering the question posed by this Zócalo/UCLA Anderson School of Management event is easy. “Is …

Why Facebook Makes Americans Feel Politically Polarized

By Equating Political and Social Identities, the Platform Makes Our Divides Feel Unbridgeable

It’s not hard to understand why moderate opinions are absent from the ranks of cable television talking heads, satellite radio hosts, and newspaper opinion editorialists. Moderation doesn’t sell. Americans have …

Why Extreme Moderation Is the Vital Alternative to Political Polarization

Theorist Tzvetan Todorov's Passionate Pluralism Is More Relevant Now Than Ever

Last month, the Bulgarian-French intellectual Tzvetan Todorov died. A scholar on the history of thought, his writings influenced fields as disparate as anthropology, literary criticism, and history. His death was, …

Are Politics Making Americans Boring?

The World’s Most Diverse, Innovative, and Surprising Nation Is in Danger of Becoming Entirely Predictable

America—arguably the world’s most diverse, innovative, and surprising nation—is becoming a lot more predictable. And boring.

According to the most recent Pew Research Poll on political polarization, Americans are becoming more …

Call Off the Silly Hunt For ‘Centrism’

The American Political Center Is Dead—Not That It Ever Lived

As Washington contemplates intervention in Syria, pundits will undoubtedly seize on the high-minded debate, one that is not following predictable partisan lines, as a model to emulate across a range …