• Thomas Zimmer on Danger and Hope for Democracy

    The historian and podcaster says hope for a multicultural democracy lies with the young: "Preserving the status quo will not be good enough, and the younger generation understands this better than any other."

  • Civics Education is at Rock Bottom. We Can Raise it Back Up

    by Danielle Allen

    Both disinvestment in the civics curriculum and political fights over what to teach mean that US children learn little about the democratic process at all.  A new project aims to rebuild consensus about the need for civics and lay out guiding principles. 

  • Will a Grassroots Movement Remake Tennessee—Again?

    by Ansley L. Quiros and Anthony C. Siracusa

    This month's events in the state capitol, culminating in the expulsion of two House members after a raucous gun control protest, recalls Nashville's role as a center in the Black Freedom movement. 

  • David Allen: What Happened to Democracy in Foreign Policy?

    by Daniel Bessner

    The idea that ordinary Americans should have a say in the nation's role in the world is dismissed out of hand by the foreign policy elite. But what if the problem isn't the complexity of world affairs, but the American elite's rejection of democracy? 

  • The US is a Procedural, Not a Substantive, Democracy

    by Van Gosse

    "The United States is well on its way to becoming a strictly procedural democracy, wherein legal and constitutional norms are observed, but the core requirements for democratic decision-making—the rule of the majority, the right of all citizens to vote without hindrance—are ignored."

  • Albion Tourgée's Forgotten Proposal for Power to the People

    by Brook Thomas

    The Black Republican activist hoped to draft a Reconstruction constitution for North Carolina that vested power in the people, which might have prevented the potential mischief that could be unleashed by Supreme Court cases that threaten to empower state legislatures to thwart democracy. 

  • Defending Democracy Will Mean Working Locally for the Common Good

    by Nell Irvin Painter

    Americans can fight both partisan dysfunction in Washington and the rise of authoritarianism and ethnic nationalism by working to advance the common good in their own communities, strengthening bonds of social solidarity. 

  • There's No Choice But to Fight for a Better America

    by Siva Vaidhyanathan

    "We often misdiagnose our current malady as one of 'polarization.' That’s wrong. We have one rogue, ethno-authoritarian party and one fairly stable and diverse party."

  • Why Direct Democracy is The Best Protection for Abortion Rights

    by Rachel Rebouché and Mary Ziegler

    Given the chance to vote directly on abortion rights, voters have been swayed by personal experience and shared stories to protect reproductive freedom and leave the choice in the hands of women, not politicians. 

  • The Constitution's Support for Oligarchy

    Jonathan Gienapp says that the Framers made deliberate choices to make the Constitution a bulwark against what they saw as the danger of broad-based democracy. 

  • Eric Foner on the Study of History and Democracy

    "I’m always interested in the connections between past and present. The questions that interest me historically tend to come out of the moment I’m living in."

  • "Independent State Legislature" Legal Theory Based in Fake History

    Charles Pinckney's ideas for the Constitution were rejected by the framers. Years later, he produced fake documents to aggrandize his own role at the convention. Right-wing legal activists have used them to argue that state legislatures can decide election results however they want.