Skip to main content

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 »

Britain is leaving the EU: What happens next?

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations |

The British voted on 23 June to leave the European Union (EU). The result was confirmed early in the morning of 24 June, British time. What happens next? I have the following ten forecasts and predictions: Britain will leave the EU Don’t be in any doubt, Britain will leave the EU. The result is decisive … Continue reading »

Americans would choose Brexit

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | June 19, 2016

Britons are less than a week away from a referendum about whether to exit the European Union (EU), or remain. British commentary on the debate has been unreasonable enough, American commentary is worse, but the American choice would be clear. Some Americans have mischaracterized Brexiteers as opponents of a “liberal democratic capitalist project.” That’s not how either side is characterizing the EU: … Continue reading »

What the Brexit means to the U.S.

Neil Fligstein, professor of sociology | June 17, 2016

By Neil Fligstein and Alina Polyakova On June 23 Great Britain is likely to vote to leave the European Union. This event is just the latest crisis of the European Union. In the past eight years, the EU has faced down the financial crisis and the ongoing slow economic recovery of the Eurozone. In the … Continue reading »

The ‘Islam is responsible’ mantra

Hatem Bazian, senior lecturer, Near Eastern studies and Ethnic studies |

The “blame Islam” mantra, a favorite pastime for the media and political talking heads, has gotten a new lease on life in the aftermath of the recent horrific attack at the Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida. Immediately after news of the attack spread, pundits and politicians began to pontificate on Islam’s alleged responsibility and the … Continue reading »

The America we must become: A response to Orlando

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | June 13, 2016

We have and we have not been here before. The news that our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community in Orlando were singled out and targeted for a hate crime of unimaginable proportions fills us with an intense sadness and a deep heartbreak. That the attack happened on Latin night at the Pulse nightclub … Continue reading »

Supreme Court ruling could be a boon for uninsured immigrant families

Miranda Dietz, researcher, UC Berkeley Labor Center | June 10, 2016

By Miranda Dietz, Ken Jacobs, and Laurel Lucia Millions of immigrant families in the U.S. are awaiting the Supreme Court’s June decision on whether to uphold President Obama’s 2014 executive action on immigration. If upheld, a total of 1.25 million immigrant adults and children in California would be eligible to apply for temporary relief from … Continue reading »