All Upfront Blog

  • Why desegregation matters

    Separateness can be beautiful, expressed in distinct cultures, traditions, and nations. But when the Supreme Court declared in 1954 that “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” it touched on a truth.

  • Refuge is not a point on a map

    What obligation do more prosperous nations have to help those in disarray or distress?

  • The aggressive (and subtle) faces of coercion

    No matter the injustices heaped upon them, liberty and freedom percolate beneath the surface.

  • Do borders have to divide?

    What are borders, really? In an evolving world, what should they do?

  • Horse sense for politics

    Only by not resorting to violence can you develop a relationship built on trust and respect.

  • Colonialism in reverse

    The story of Juba Arabic is one of colonization. The language is a mixture of different tongues imposed upon the South Sudanese by outsiders. That makes the story of Juba Arabic an allegory of sorts. 

  • What democracy actually does

    Opinions about the best way forward can fracture a country in countless ways. Democracy, at its most fundamental level, is about creating a structure that can absorb those disagreements without violence or tyranny.

  • What money can’t buy in politics

    Money does other things that are subtler yet in some ways just as concerning as outright corruption. And, in a bit of a shock, new research suggests that money doesn’t do something that many think it does. 

  • Demanding more from politics

    What the Kavanaugh hearings showed is the tendency to be satisfied with the 'politics of personal destruction.'

  • The triumph of gray

    Perhaps the answer to growing concerns about capitalism is not in black or white – it is in the perpetual reconsideration and recalibration that reveals the symphony within the gray.

  • How to create a world full of winners

    When politics appeals to our zero-sum fears just to get us to the ballot box, it is a small step back toward the Stone Age.

  • Searching for a balance

    Is saving the Amazon really just about protecting some trees here and some species there? Behind each of these efforts is a larger question that begins to show that the partisan 'us vs. them' narrative is full of false choices. The question is whether we can learn to live in balance with nature.

  • A shift in Islam – and beyond

    What is the right balance between a living faith that embraces the changing times and the religious traditions and doctrines that are often millenniums old?

  • New look, changing team for the Monitor

    Every so often, I take this space to let you know about happenings at the Monitor.

  • The power of losing

    For two consecutive American presidential elections, many of the losers have seen the winner as illegitimate. Putting aside the merit of the claims, that broad fact speaks volumes.

  • Coaching humans out of static thinking

    Science is one of the most reliable ways to coach humans out of narrow, static thinking and into mental channels that grow and challenge our views of – well, everything.

  • Monitor grapples with gender balance in sourcing

    Women have a lot to say – across business, politics, economics, education – you name it. But are their voices always heard?

  • A legacy worth defending

    There is a discovery that was made in the 20th century that is often overlooked. It is the legacy of nonviolence left by Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela.

  • From one book lover to many others

    Our Monitor Facebook book group is utterly vibrant – enthusiastic readers sharing book tips with one another, asking and answering book questions of all kinds. 

  • The marches that have shaped America

    A wave of progressive movements, driven by decades of swelling unrest among women and minority groups, crested in 1968. It was a show of activism, both peaceful and violent, that the nation hasn’t seen since. At least, not until now.