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The road not taken: How the migrant crisis in Europe could have been ameliorated

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | August 15, 2015

I was visiting my family in Kent in southeast England. I rounded a bend and there was a queue of cars and trucks. Obviously an accident. I bumped over the median, read my map, and found another route. Another vehicle queue as far as I could see. Another accident? No. This was a tiny part of … Continue reading »

This telegram will arrive tomorrow

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | September 29, 2013

The Poverty and Population class I co-teach emphasizes the many unnecessary and unjustified barriers that prevent women having access to the contraceptives they need.  Sometimes overcoming these barriers needs courage. In 1974 had the privilege of working with my Thai friend Mechai Viravaidya to launch a community-based distribution of oral contraceptives and condoms. We were … Continue reading »

Slavery’s heavy hand

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | May 31, 2012

In an earlier post, I mused about the notion of the “heavy hand of history,” the idea that long-past conditions pull us in certain directions even generations after the fateful events. One of the very earliest users of the phrase, in 1944, was an eminent psychologist who was trying to understand the situation of African … Continue reading »

Balancing economic development and social welfare in South Africa: The Walmart/Massmart merger

Ken Jacobs, chair, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education | May 23, 2011

I was invited to South Africa earlier this month to participate in a Competition Tribunal about a proposed merger of Walmart and South African chain Massmart. Facing falling sales in the U.S., Walmart seeks a stake in emerging African markets, and last September offered $4 billion to purchase a controlling portion of Massmart. South Africa … Continue reading »