Irene Bloemraad, an internationally recognized expert on immigration, is the Thomas Garden Barnes Chair of Canadian Studies and professor of sociology. Her work examines the intersection of immigration and politics, with emphasis on citizenship, immigrants’ political and civic participation, and multiculturalism. She has investigated why levels of immigrant citizenship in the U.S. are lower than other countries, funding inequalities among Bay Area immigrant organizations, the causes and consequences of immigration-rights mobilizations and the ways immigrant-origin youth learn about civic engagement and politics.
In 2014-2015, Bloemraad served as a member of the U.S. National Academies of Science panel reporting on the "Integration of Immigrants in U.S. Society." She is also a senior fellow with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and previously held a visiting researcher fellowship from the Dutch National Science Foundation (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek).
Bloemraad authored or co-edited the books Rallying for Immigrant Rights (2011), Civic Hopes and Political Realities (2008) and Becoming a Citizen: Incorporating Immigrants and Refugees in the United States and Canada (2006), which won honorable mention for best book from the American Sociological Association's International Migration section. In 2013, "Is There a Trade-off Between Multiculturalism and Socio-Political Integration?" (which she co-authored with Berkeley Ph.D. graduate Matthew Wright), won the best-article award from the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association.