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Two cents for welfare (Part 2)

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | August 17, 2016

After returning from the South, I was determined to complete my interrupted studies, and I moved to California to work as a research assistant for Hortense Powdermaker, my undergraduate mentor at Queens College who had just retired and moved to Berkeley, while I applied to graduate school. During the founding of Peoples Park in the … Continue reading »

Two cents for welfare (Part 1)

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | August 12, 2016

On June 15, 2016, California Gov. Jerry Brown and the California legislature agreed to end the cap on support for families in need, most of them single mothers and their children. It took 20 years for California to reject a program based on the Clinton-era attack on “welfare as we knew it.” The 1996 Clinton law replaced … Continue reading »

Hillary Clinton and the politics of motherhood

Paula Fass, professor emerita of history | August 9, 2016

It was clear from the beginning of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign that the “woman issue” was going to play a large part, with an emphasis on shattering glass ceilings. What was not clear until the convention was the degree to which this would be centered on mothers and mothering. The Democratic National Convention showcased many … Continue reading »

How did Trump come to be? Trump and the media

Anthony Cascardi, dean, Arts & Humanities | August 3, 2016

As many Americans disbelieve how Donald Trump came to be the presidential nominee of the Republican Party, most jaws simply drop. Then there are the familiar explanations, most of which echo Trump/party views: He echoes white/middle class resentment; he presents as “tough” in an era where the US and he world have been besieged by … Continue reading »

Understanding the allure of Trump

George Lakoff, professor of linguistics | August 1, 2016

There is a lot being written spoken about Trump by intelligent and articulate commentators whose insights I respect. But as a longtime researcher in cognitive science and linguistics, I bring a perspective from these sciences to an understanding of the Trump phenomenon. This perspective is hardly unknown. More that half a million people have read … Continue reading »

Trump says he’s a great negotiator, but the evidence says otherwise

Don Moore, professor, Haas School of Business | July 26, 2016

Despite his lack of experience in elected office and unpresidential behavior on the campaign trail, Donald Trump’s polling strength persists on questions regarding the economy. As Hillary Clinton turns her attention to the general election, she will take aim at Trump’s economic agenda. But if history is any guide, attacking his policies will have limited … Continue reading »

Bernie or bust?

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies |

Watching the delegates at the national Democratic Convention shouting “Bernie or bust” got me thinking about what the “bust” part of that phrase meant. Had those delegates really thought about what a Trump presidency would mean for them? Had they thought about what it would mean for those without the resources to become delegates? In … Continue reading »

Nice: Entering the gray zone

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | July 19, 2016

“I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will live as one” — John Lennon, “Imagine” So close to home, one of our own, Nicolas Leslie, a UC Berkeley student abroad in France, after being missing for four days, was confirmed dead, one of the 84 victims of the terrorist attack in Nice. Three other … Continue reading »

Bernie Sanders’ seven big legacies

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | July 12, 2016

Bernie Sanders’s campaign is now officially over, but the movement he began is still just beginning. He’s provided it seven big legacies: First, Bernie has helped open America’s eyes to the power of big money corrupting our democracy and thereby rigging our economy to its advantage and everyone else’s disadvantage. Polls now show huge majorities … Continue reading »

A nation on the brink

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | July 11, 2016

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”  – President Abraham Lincoln. Our nation as at a breaking point. Race relations in America have hit rock bottom. We have work to do and it is long overdue. Beyond undoing the damage and human … Continue reading »

Echoes of the past: police violence and civil disorder

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | July 8, 2016

The shocking deaths of Alston Sterling and Philando Castile this week, accompanied by wrenchingly painful video, are tragic reminders that all the protests, national attention on race and policing, and calls for reform have failed to abate, let alone slow, the epidemic of extreme violence against black bodies by law enforcement.  Despite the outcry over … Continue reading »

Donald Trump is no populist

Robert Reich, professor of public policy |

The tectonic plates of American politics are no longer moving along the old fault lines of “left” versus “right” or even Democrat versus Republican. As we’ve seen this bizarre political year, the biggest force welling up is rage against insider elites in both parties, and against the American establishment as a whole – including the … Continue reading »

Brexit: Trumpism with a posh accent

Joe Pridmore, Cal-in-Senate fellow, student from London | June 28, 2016

Recently, anyone engaged in the world, regardless of where they come from, will have been unable to avoid discussing Donald Trump. As a Brit studying abroad in the US, I’m constantly asked how the rest of the world sees it, and I always reply the same way: We think the idea of a bigoted, ill-informed, … Continue reading »

The housing affordability crisis: Can it be solved?

Sam Davis, professor emeritus, architecture | June 27, 2016

What is affordable housing? In the United States, anyone who spends more than 30 percent of their income on housing is considered “cost burdened,” and has difficultly paying for other of life’s necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and health care. It is surprising how many people fall into this category. The median income in … Continue reading »

A bridge from Brexit

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society |

A few days ago, we woke up to a new world. Britain had voted to leave the European Union. Some were pleased, many were deeply concerned. What is likely is that many will be affected. Some wonder if the EU will survive. It will take months if not years to fully understand the ramifications. Here … Continue reading »

Where does the Brexit vote leave us?

Mark Bevir, professor of political science |

Britain has held a referendum to decide whether or not to stay in the European Union (EU). Leave won by 52 percent to 48 percent. Too many commentators are suggesting the matter is settled. Far from it. People will say there will be overwhelming moral and political pressure to respect the will of the voters. … Continue reading »

Which road for Britain?

Mark Bevir, professor of political science | June 26, 2016

The woman on the TV was explaining why she had voted for Britain to leave the European Union: “My parents fought the Second World War for our freedom.” Alas, my own parents died when I was younger, so I can’t ask them, but I suspect they would not share this view of the war. I … Continue reading »

Brexit: A cousin of Trumpism? A distant cousin of fascism?

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | June 25, 2016

June 24, 2016: I spoke to my friend in Britain this morning. Still absorbing the shock that her nation had voted itself out of Europe, she said, “Today I live in a different country.” I recognized the sentiment. It was widespread in this country, the USA, in the wake of 9-11. When people said, “Everything … Continue reading »

What explains Britain’s Brexit shocker?

Barry Eichengreen, professor of economics and political science | June 24, 2016

The result of the U.K. referendum on European Union membership has been a surprise and massive shock to so-called “expert” opinion. And not just to academic opinion: The betting markets, which are supposed to be inhabited by experts at setting odds, were assigning just a one-in-seven probability to a majority for “leave” on the eve … Continue reading »

Immigrants, Brexit, Trump and inequality

Irene Bloemraad, professor of sociology |

“I’m confused,” my brother emailed me this morning. “Why is fear dictating decisions around the world? First Trump, now Brexit. I need a professor of sociology to help me understand what is going on.” Unlike doctors or car mechanics, people rarely ask for my professional advice. Younger brothers are even less apt to ask for … Continue reading »