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Our Responsibility to Refugees

Sarah Song, professor of law and political science | June 14, 2021

Nearly 80 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide, including 26 million refugees and 4.2 million asylum seekers.* Writing in the wake of World War II, Hannah Arendt, herself a refugee, described the plight of refugees as involving not only “the loss of their homes” but also the loss of “a right to have rights…and … Continue reading »

The University of California can legally require COVID-19 vaccinations

Stephen Duvernay, Senior Research Fellow at the California Constitution Center | April 26, 2021

Government actors should not take lightly the power to conscript citizens into action against their will, particularly on matters of personal health and bodily autonomy. But as the law currently stands, it is within the University’s power to adopt the policy of requiring its students to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

How public pre-K education for all can worsen racial disparities

Bruce Fuller, professor of education and public policy | April 22, 2021

President Biden will soon detail his promise of free access to preschool for all young children, and the idea polls high among the nation’s parents. But research shows that poor children benefit the most from pre-K. Shouldn’t we focus aid on their families?

In the Beginning – Recalling the Legislation that Established the University of California

John Aubrey Douglass, Senior Research Fellow - Public Policy and Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education | March 23, 2021

Today, March 23, marks the 153th anniversary of the 1868 legislation that established the University of California, also known as Charter Day. The following provides a reflection on the intent of that legislation and its initial organizational principles that remain relevant today for one of the largest and most prestigious multi-campus public universities in the … Continue reading »

Why Deb Haaland’s confirmation as interior secretary is so important to Indigenous communities

Nazune Menka, JD, Tribal Cultural Resources Policy Fellow at Berkeley Law | March 15, 2021

Secretary Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna) is the first Indigenous woman confirmed as Secretary of a federal agency. She will the lead of the Department of the Interior (DOI). This historic day calls for a recognition of the resiliency, survivance, and fortitude Indigenous communities have led with since 1492. Secretary Haaland’s swearing in is important … Continue reading »

Here’s what it will take for America’s fraying democracy to survive

Mahmood Monshipouri, Lecturer in Global Studies/International and Area Studies | January 18, 2021

There may not be an immediate solution to America’s broken political system. Yet, there are reasons to be hopeful and optimistic about the future of the United States, given its strong democratic institutions and the primacy of the rule of law. In a national emergency like this, the foundations of the social contract are likely to prevail, but U.S. democratic institutions will survive only if the congressional leadership and the new administration prepare their constituencies for a pluralist and multi-racial society.

A sustainable anti-fascist mass movement must be pragmatic and militant

Cihan Tugal, professor, sociology | January 11, 2021

Learning from the mistakes of both ends of the ideological spectrum, the left needs to infuse the pragmatically built mass movement with militancy and autonomy as it is being built. Anti-fascism cannot be a beginning point for sustainable mass organization, but the mass organization of the future must be militantly anti-fascist.

The radical right after Trump

Cihan Tugal, professor, sociology | January 8, 2021

The nature of the American right was ill-understood during the Trump regime. The word “fascist” frequently circulated in liberal and left-wing circles. Yet, the only potential fascist was ousted from the White House before the Trump administration turned one. Now, the risk is forgetting that we still live under conditions favorable to right-wing extremism. The … Continue reading »

Where are the SWAT teams?

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | January 6, 2021

The insurrectionists tore through the Capitol occupying the chair of the vice-president, taking over offices and rifling through papers. Some took souvenirs and brought the family with them. I tried to imagine what would have happened if the Million Man March had done the same thing.

Elections should be grounded in evidence, not blind trust

Philip Stark, professor of statistics | January 5, 2021

The existence of vulnerabilities is not evidence that any particular election outcome is wrong, but the big-picture lesson from 2020 is that ensuring an accurate result is not enough. Elections also have to be able to prove to a skeptical public that the result really was accurate.

Biden’s reboot of US higher education policy – possibilities and probabilities

John Aubrey Douglass, Senior Research Fellow - Public Policy and Higher Education, Center for Studies in Higher Education | November 30, 2020

Most of Trump’s regressive policies can be reversed or altered. The portrayal of science and academic research as “fake news,” and the effort to discredit public institutions, including federal science agencies that are supposed to be non-political, will have a much longer and more problematic impact.

A call to action on National Native American Heritage Day

Nazune Menka, JD, Tribal Cultural Resources Policy Fellow at Berkeley Law | November 25, 2020

For those of us at Berkeley, I recognize we are on the ancestral and unceded homelands of the Ohlone people. This month and day are important to increasing our collective community awareness and inclusiveness. But celebrating a heritage month is not reconciliation and reparation. 2020 demands more of us.

Electronic monitoring of youth, and data sharing, widely used in California’s juvenile justice system

Catherine Crump, Clinical professor of law | November 16, 2020

A new report released today by the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley, School of Law, answers five important questions about the use of electronic monitoring of youth in the California juvenile justice system. This report, which I co-authored along with my former student Amisha Gandhi (Law ’20), is a follow … Continue reading »

Fear not. Trump cannot dispute the vote indefinitely

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | November 15, 2020

The president can bluster and protest all he wants, but like it or not, the Constitution and federal law establish a clear timeline of how electoral votes are processed, and when the new president takes office. Here’s how that process normally plays out, how Trump might try to undermine it, and why he is unlikely to succeed.

Is affirmative action the same as reparations?

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | November 13, 2020

During Black History Month in February of 2001, the radical turned conservative activist David Horowitz offered the campus newspapers of some 50 elite universities (including Berkeley) an advertisement entitled “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Blacks Is a Bad Idea for Blacks—and Racist Too.” Reason Eight was labeled “Reparations to African Americans Have Already Been Paid” … Continue reading »