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On sexism in economics

Emily Eisner, eeisner | August 24, 2017

An undergraduate honors thesis written by UC Berkeley economics major Alice Wu exposes the rampant misogyny cluttering Economics Job Market Rumors, an anonymous forum.

What’s going on?

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | August 21, 2017

Brother, brother, brother, We don’t need to escalate, War is not the answer, Only love can conquer hate, I know we’ve got to find a way, To bring some lovin’ here today, What’s going on. Yesterday a church choir in Oakland sang Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” as a part of the church service. It … Continue reading »

On statues, and what can and cannot be said

Andrew Shanken, professor of architecture | August 18, 2017

I’ve been loath to write about what’s happening with Confederate statues, but a few sleepless nights cured my diffidence. As an architectural historian who works on memorials and has dabbled in the history of historic preservation, I’ve vacillated over the years between a Ruskinian position (“let it moulder”) and a Rieglian position, trying to establish … Continue reading »

What can be done about hate speech?

Erwin Chemerinsky, Berkeley Law dean |

The tragic events in Charlottesville again raise the question of why expressions of hate should be tolerated and deemed protected by the First Amendment. Most European nations do not allow hate speech, such as the vile white supremacist, racist and anti-Semitic speech that occurred last week in Virginia. Would we be better off as a … Continue reading »

Hate and hurt in America: On Charlottesville

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | August 14, 2017

Like many people, I am deeply bothered by the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend. I give my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to those who went to Charlottesville to stand up for decency, fairness, and equality, and who put their beliefs on the line against hate. I apologize to Heather Heyer’s family that we as … Continue reading »

Bipartisan health care reform could be a winner

Ben Handel, assistant professor of economics | August 9, 2017

Most of the discussion surrounding U.S. health care reform in 2017 has focused on efforts to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. These efforts have been unilateral, supported only by some Republicans and opposed by nearly all Democrats. With the apparent recent failure of this legislation, there has been some talk of … Continue reading »

Whispering past the graveyard: Confronting Iran

Mahmood Monshipouri, visiting associate professor, Middle Eastern Studies | August 3, 2017

Why is the United States edging closer to a military confrontation with Iran? The Trump administration appears to be contemplating such a scenario, while embarking on a dicey enterprise with little or no understanding of the possible consequences. Regardless of how we understand and interpret the rhetoric of regime change coming out of the Trump … Continue reading »

Trump, Kim Jong Un: 2 scorpions in a bottle

T.J. Pempel, professor of political science | August 1, 2017

Last Friday, North Korea launched its second intercontinental ballistic missile in July, its 14th for the year. Together with North Korea’s expanding nuclear stockpile, such tests demonstrate the regime’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is nearing his goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the continental United States. When combined with Kim’s popular image as even less rational and more unpredictable than President Trump, the obvious question for Californians is: How worried should we be?

Police shootings: How many more must perish before we see justice?

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, assistant professor of history | July 27, 2017

One year to the day that Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans in Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a jury exonerated Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile. In African American communities around the country, few individuals were surprised at the verdict. More than anything, individuals expressed deeper sorrow and intensified disappointment because, once again, many of us held out hope that the justice system would hold the man who killed another human being accountable.

Trump and race

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | July 21, 2017

Many months after the election of Donald Trump, new data and research findings continue to provide fresh light on that critical historical moment. The main strand of this research is a search to understand who voted for each candidate, and what motivated their vote. The results are not entirely intuitive, increasingly complex, and, as pundits … Continue reading »

Senate Republicans’ health bill especially hurts the lowest-income Californians

Laurel Lucia, Labor Center Health Care Program director | June 22, 2017

Co-authored by Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center The health bill released by Senate Republicans today would be devastating to low-income Californians and their access to health coverage. While the proposed Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, is largely similar to the American Health Care Act passed by the U.S. House … Continue reading »

Do your homework before you apply FOIA

David Zilberman, professor, agriculture and resource economics |

When I arrived in Berkeley in the 1973, the biggest show in town was the Watergate hearing. I admired the brilliant journalists uncovering the Watergate cover-up, and it led me to further admire America. I also learned that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is essential in sustaining the capabilities of free press. But, as … Continue reading »

Lessons from the London high-rise fire

Michael O'Hare, professor of public policy | June 16, 2017

Every catastrophe has multiple causes, so there will be lots to learn about this one as the facts come in. Whatever they are, they will include irresponsible, probably corrupt, behavior by people who should have known better.

Jane Marple meets Donald Trump

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | June 13, 2017

Agatha Christie’s sometimes dithery but always profoundly insightful sleuth, Miss Marple, maintained that there are only two reasons for murder — sex and money. As we watch our social norms and legal frameworks destroyed by one man, one way to keep our spirits up is to put bets on what might happen next. I suggest Miss Marple’s analysis applies to the question, Why is trump so eager to please the Russians? Did they help bail him out of his usual financial mistakes? Or should we look more carefully at Miss Marple’s other explanation — sex.

Behind Lex CEU —how Orban has been suffocating the Hungarian higher education system

Gérard Roland, E. Morris Cox professor of economics and professor of political science | May 27, 2017

The passing of Lex CEU by the Hungarian Parliament to outlaw Central European University in Budapest has stirred widespread protests both in Hungary and outside Hungary. This legitimate protest should not hide the fact that Viktor Mihály Orban’s government has been passing laws to muzzle the whole system of higher education in Hungary. After the … Continue reading »

Manchester: The newest terrorism, and the future of terrorism

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | May 24, 2017

The suicide bombing of a concert in Manchester, England, is indicative of the latest trends in terrorism — trends that have emerged as recently as the last few years, and will continue in the wrong direction for years to come. The tragedy illustrates the new normal in terrorist motivations and behaviors; unfortunately, you would not … Continue reading »

Was the Comey firing legitimate? Time will tell

Dan Farber, professor of law | May 10, 2017

Was the firing of James Comey another Saturday night massacre? No, not really. But there’s enough resemblance between Trump’s action and Nixon’s axing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate investigation to be worrying. Unlike Cox, Comey had clearly engaged in conduct that warranted firing. During the campaign, he blatantly violated Justice Department policies … Continue reading »

A statement from the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies (

Lawrence Rosenthal, executive director, Center for Right-Wing Studies | April 27, 2017

A statement by CRWS Chair Lawrence Rosenthal on 4/27 events at Berkeley The situation at the University of California does not conform to the claims of suppression of free speech that conservative politicians and commentators have been trying to tie it to. Neither student groups nor the university administration are responsible for the threats of … Continue reading »