Politics & Public Policy
Archive photo strip

Recent stories

Studies find proposed health care reforms offer big savings to individuals, families
Four million Californians who are uninsured, have unaffordable job-based coverage or who are buying coverage in the individual market, would be eligible for Medicaid or subsidized coverage under bills under consideration in the U.S. Congress, according to a new study from the University of California, Berkeley.
(10 December)

Leading while black: Scholars assess the 'de-racialized' Obama White House, and Michelle's makeover as 'Mommy in Chief'
African American scholar-activists on Thursday conducted a follow-up evaluation of the nation's current "weird, surreal" condition, as journalist Brenda Payton put it — "led by a black president who we aren't supposed to think of as black."
(23 November)

How to solve California's fiscal crisis? First, don't think of an elephant
"The California Democracy Act," recently submitted to the attorney general's office, would take the state back to pre-Prop. 13 days, when the majority ruled -- and the Legislature was able to pass a budget
(12 November)

What ails California?
"What Ails California?," a daylong conference held last week on the Berkeley campus, at times resembled an episode of the TV show House -- but without the "aha" moment in which the patient's disease is identified and the cure prescribed. The state's voters, it seems, want change. But what kind of change? And will it help solve California's budget crisis?
(27 October)

Goldman School to have greater impact, thanks to $5 million gift
Over the years, the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley has emerged as a leader in proposing solutions to major issues facing society, and now a new $5 million gift from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund will make it possible for the school to make a greater impact in the world.
(23 October)

Study says California furloughs will save less than anticipated
Much of the savings from California state workers’ three-day-a-month mandatory furlough will be offset by reduced revenue and increased costs to the state general fund in future years, says a study released today (Thursday, Oct. 15) by UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education.
(15 October)

Wither healthcare reform? Policy experts at Berkeley offer insights and predictions on the debate
ational healthcare reform continues to dominate the headlines, with Congress laboring over various proposals and President Obama making his case for reform to the public. To help shed light on where the debate stands today, and where it may be headed, the NewsCenter queried heathcare-policy experts at Berkeley for their insights — asking what they would like to see in a comprehensive healthcare plan, what compromises they expect from Congress, and what they predict will finally emerge.
(21 September)

Mondale: Connecting the dots between U.S. security and foreign development aid
In an event sponsored by the Blum Center for Developing Economies, the 81-year-old Mondale invoked the spirit of the Peace Corps as he argued the case — though "argued" might be too strong a word for the mild-mannered Minnesotan, who goes by the nickname "Fritz" — for U.S. development aid to countries in need.
(18 September)

U.S. signs on to international disability-rights agreement
The United States' signing last week of the United Nations' international convention on disability rights brought cheers from Berkeley academicians and activists involved in efforts to assure the quality of life for disabled people — and reminders that there remains much to do to, both here and around the world.
(06 August)

Can we reduce medical costs while expanding the availability of health care?
Without reform, the current U.S. healthcare system will well make the federal government "go the way of GM — paying more, getting less, and going broke," President Obama warned recently. In a Q&A with the NewsCenter, Dean of Public Health Stephen Shortell, an adviser to the Obama administration on pending health care legislation, speaks about needed changes — from a center for comparing effectiveness of various treatment options to better incentives for doctors and hospitals to reduce costs.
(25 June)

A Latina judge's voice
Foes of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination Tuesday to the U.S. Supreme Court have focused in part on her comments on the role of ethnicity, gender and life experience in judicial rulings. Read the full text of Sotomayor's speech on the subject, delivered Oct. 26, 2001 at U.C. Berkeley as the Judge Mario G. Olmos Memorial Lecture.
(26 May)

Why do we tolerate a massive prison system that produces 70% recidivism rates?
Legal scholar Jonathan Simon discusses the social and fiscal impacts of California's approach to crime and punishment. Unless we confront its central flaws, he says, "everything is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic." Part 2 of a two-part Q&A.
(07 May)

Why parole does not work in California
California's criminal justice system has been thrust into the national spotlight by the shooting deaths of four Oakland police officers by a recently released state prisoner. Criminal-law expert Jonathan Simon talks about the 'broken' system he has studied since the 1980s.
(06 May)

Experts weigh in on the battle for national healthcare reform
As the herculean and unpredictable political battle over national healthcare reform unfolds on Capitol Hill, a panel of experts explored "considerations for the Obama administration" at an April 1 campus event. Four experts in health policy, politics, law, and labor focused on needed changes, with emphasis on what is realistically achievable.
(06 April)

Goldman School portal takes the worry out of 'experiments of concern'
How concerned should we be about breakthroughs in synthetic biology that might also be useful to bioterrorists? An online advice portal developed at Berkeley may help to minimize those risks.
(02 April)

Should California consider Australia's wildfire policy?
Berkeley fire researchers caution that any state wishing to emulate Australia's policy of preparing citizens to defend their homes against wildfire needs to take responsibility for properly training and supplying them.
(04 March)

Berkeley Law dean charged with 'fixing the educational pipeline'
Berkeley Law dean Chris Edley — who taught Barack Obama at Harvard and worked in Bill Clinton's White House — mixes Beltway savvy and legal acumen in his role as special adviser to UC President Mark Yudof.
(26 February)

Obama's race not a factor in election, say economists
Reinforcing the notion of a "post racial" nation, two University of California, Berkeley, researchers' analysis of voting patterns indicates that voters were not motivated by race in the 2008 U.S. election of Barack Obama, the country's first black president.
(12 February)

The march to war, from Bonaparte to Bush
This year's Jefferson Lecturer, Stanford's David Kennedy, talked about how today's all-volunteer U.S. military not only makes it easier for a president to go to war, but jeopardizes crucial aspects of American democracy.
(12 February)

Blue sky ideas for Obama sought by new campus website
The campus that's been called "White House West" now has a new website, "Blue Sky: New Ideas for the Obama Administration." Launched by Berkeley law professor and Academic Senate Vice Chair Christopher Kutz, the site features -- and is seeking -- short essays by Cal faculty with fresh federal policy ideas, and is drawing raves both on and off campus.
(10 February)

Survey Research Center marks half-century of data-based insight
Not just accumulating and disseminating reams of data, but interpreting it to help shape public policy, is the mission of Berkeley's Survey Research Center.
(05 February)

Bringing it all back home
It took a quarter century for Wilda White to land the social-justice job of her dreams: helping to train the next generation of public-interest lawyers.
(05 February)

Research explores policy research and impressions of bias
A University of California, Berkeley, study shows that when people learn about research findings that conflict with their own beliefs about politically controversial topics, they not only doubt the conclusions, but also question the researcher's objectivity.The study by Robert MacCoun, a UC Berkeley professor of public policy, law and psychology, will be published in the February issue of the journal Political Psychology and already is online.
(03 February)

Throngs at Berkeley witness dawn of the Obama era
The mood was one of elation on UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza as one of the site's largest crowds to date witnessed the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama on big-screen TV.
(20 January)