Ian Haney Lopez

Research Expertise and Interest

constitutional law, race relations, civil rights, race in politics, Latinos

Research Description

Ian Haney López teaches in the areas of race and constitutional law. One of the nation’s leading thinkers on how racism has evolved since the civil rights era, his current research emphasizes the connection between racial divisions in society and growing wealth inequality in the United States. In Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class (2014), Haney López detailed the fifty-year history of how politicians exploit racial pandering to fracture social solidarity and ultimately to convince many voters to support rule by the rich.

After publishing Dog Whistle Politics, Haney López co-chaired the AFL-CIO’s Advisory Council on Racial and Economic Justice and then co-founded the Race-Class Narrative Project, exploring how to defeat dog whistle politics. His most recent book, Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America (2019), explains how the political manipulation of coded racism has evolved in the Trump era, while also offering an evidence-based approach to neutralizing political racism and building cross-racial solidarity.

Haney López holds an endowed chair as the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the author of White by Law as well as Racism on Trial, books that respectively critique the legal construction of white and Latinx racial identity. From legal scholarship to commentary, his writings have appeared across a range of sources, from the Yale Law Journal to the New York Times. He has been a visiting law professor at Yale, New York University, and Harvard, and holds a master’s degree in history from Washington University, a master’s in public policy from Princeton, and a law degree from Harvard. He lives in Richmond, California.

In the News

Berkeley Talks: Berkeley Law’s Ian Haney López on defeating racial fearmongering

In this Oct. 11 talk, Berkeley Law professor Ian Haney López, one of the nation’s leading thinkers on how racism has evolved in the U.S. since the civil rights era, discusses his new book, Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections and Saving America, offering insight and hopeful new strategy for defeating the right’s racial fearmongering and achieving bold progressive goals.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
September 18, 2020
Ian Haney L?pez and Tory Gavito
UC Berkeley law professor Ian Haney L?pez and human rights lawyer Tory Gavito examined what was happening among Hispanic voters and attempted to fashion a strategy for drawing communities - Latinos and others - into a multiracial progressive coalition. Conducting 15 focus groups across the country, and running a national survey, the results were sobering. As Mr. Biden makes his pitch, he should see Hispanics not as a monolith but as America in microcosm. Some Latinos view themselves as whites, others as people of color, and still others minimize the importance of race in their lives.
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