Should All World Leaders Be Comedians First?

Finding Authenticity, Inspiration, and Moral Authority in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Unusual Path to Government

Should all world leaders be former comedians? If Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is any indication, it’s an option worth considering.

The New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post have all analyzed Zelensky’s comedy and performance to find some connection to his inspiring leadership style. “Indeed, watching Zelensky now,” the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik wrote, “one does not think, Oh, wow, he once was a comedian! One thinks, This is what a comedian looks like in power.”

However, as the war has progressed and its horrors have become more evident, I think …

Auto Draft | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Two Ex-California Governors Stop World War III?

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown Are Speaking Out on Russia and China—And We’d All Do Well to Listen

I must be getting old. Jerry Brown is starting to make sense to me. Arnold Schwarzenegger is sounding like an international statesman.

And heeding the advice of former California governors now …

Ukraine Shows Us the Power of the 21st-Century Citizen | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Ukraine Shows Us the Power of the 21st-Century Citizen

From Crowdsourced Community Organizing to DIY Weapons, Ordinary People Are Waging a New Kind of War

This is a new kind of war, waged by a new kind of citizen.

The failure of the Russian forces to subdue Ukraine quickly has astonished experts, officials, and journalists worldwide. …

In Ukraine’s Resistance, Echoes of Past Struggles | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Ukraine’s Resistance, Echoes of Past Struggles

The Defiance to Putin’s Invasion Highlights the Nation’s Long, Multigenerational Drive for National Self-Determination

Ukrainians refer to Russian TV and its viewers as “Zombieland,” having long ago developed an immunity to the main talking points of Vladimir Putin’s mindless propaganda war.  They know the …

Can Ukraine’s Experiments in Local Democracy Survive the Invasion?

From Balta to Vinnytsia, Communities Have Been Growing in Power—and Democratic Innovation

As I write this, Russian troops reportedly are moving north through the Odesa oblast, or region, toward the river Kodyma, along which sits a town called Balta.

This is not new …

When Kazakhstan Turned Off the Internet

Did a Five-Day Crackdown and Flood of Misinformation Send a Message to Activists or Ignite a Movement for Political Reform?

This was no ordinary internet blackout. For five days, the ninth largest country in the world was a black box.

On the evening of January 5, 2022, we set our respective …