International & Area Studies

March 24, 2022

A month at war: Berkeley’s Ukrainian students turn shock, anger into action

Among the small community of Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Americans at UC Berkeley, other students tell similar stories. The invasion four weeks ago triggered a nearly overwhelming surge of anxiety and anger, but many have found ways to transform those emotions into action, sometimes working with anti-war Russian students and others from the region.
March 1, 2022

As the World Watches Ukraine, Berkeley Law Experts Discuss Recent Events and What to Expect

As the fighting in Ukraine continued Feb. 28, some of Berkeley Law’s international law experts gathered to discuss the legal and strategic implications of what’s happened — and what might come next. The hybrid roundtable drew a crowd in person and online and was moderated by Berkeley Law Professor Katerina Linos and co-sponsored by the office of Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and the school’s Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, where Linos is the co-faculty director.
February 28, 2022

Berkeley Talks: UC Berkeley experts on the invasion of Ukraine

In episode 135 of Berkeley Talks, UC Berkeley political scientist George Breslauer and economics professor Yuriy Gorodnichenko discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine — what his motivations are and how they compare to Adolf Hitler’s and Joseph Stalin’s, if the invasion was avoidable and what should be done about it.
February 25, 2022

With defiance and solidarity, Berkeley’s Ukrainian scholars respond to invasion

In the hours immediately following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Berkeley News asked Ukrainian faculty and students at UC Berkeley for their reactions. Their thoughts ranged across issues of family, geopolitics and justice, but each of them, in their own ways, expressed shock and defiance — and hope that the global community would rally to protect democracy and freedom.
February 24, 2022

Putin’s war and its economic and geopolitical realities

We must do what we can to contain Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. But we also need to be clear-eyed about it, and face the costs. As I’ve said before, economics can’t be separated from politics, and neither can be separated from history. Here are eight sobering realities.
January 28, 2022

Berkeley Talks: The EU in crisis

The co-editors of The Palgrave Handbook of EU Crises discuss their research that explores the European Union’s institutional and policy responses to crises across policy domains and institutions, including the Euro crisis, Brexit, the Ukraine crisis, the refugee crisis and the global health crisis caused by COVID-19.
January 24, 2022

Could Ukraine be a tombstone for Russian power? Or for the Western alliance?

Berkeley News talked with two veteran Russia scholars: George Breslauer and M. Steven Fish, both political scientists at UC Berkeley. Based on their decades of research and experience with contemporary Russia, they offered compelling insights into the mind and heart of Russia’s leader: his immediate objectives in Ukraine and his overarching vision for Russia. They also reflected on the U.S. response to Putin’s military threat, the field of options for both sides, and possible long-term scenarios.
August 5, 2021

The Transformation of Africa’s Energy Sector

To meet the development needs of a growing population, Africa’s electricity sector requires a major transformation. New research, co-authored at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, identifies five sets of complementary actions to put Africa’s electricity sector on track to sharply increase electrification rates and secure long-term access to affordable and cleaner energy.
July 22, 2021

New leadership in CLAS and CMES

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Global, International, and Area Studies, are pleased to announce the appointments of Natalia Brizuela as Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies, and Asad Q. Ahmed, Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.
June 17, 2021

Faculty Members Share Research Findings and Insights Leading Into World Refugee Day

With an estimated 80 million refugees and displaced people facing increased uncertainty and growing crises, this year’s World Refugee Day on June 20 carries added significance. That urgency is evident at Berkeley Law. Faculty lead seminal research and often coordinate their efforts through the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, clinics provide vital legal assistance, centers and institutes offer robust programming, and student groups such as the International Refugee Assistance Project advocate for rights and protections.
November 6, 2020

Why violence has re-emerged in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

Fierce battles continue in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that has killed at least 1,000 people, and possibly many more. The fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan threatens to destabilize the South Caucasus region, in what has been one of the world’s most protracted wars; three cease-fires have already collapsed since hostilities flared at the end of September.
October 31, 2019

Hindu kids more apt to echo propaganda that ‘Indian equals Hindu’

With a multi-faith population of some 1.3 billion, India claims to be the world’s largest secular democracy. But when it comes to the question of who is a true Indian, the country’s Hindu children are more likely than their Muslim peers to connect their faith to their national identity, according to new research from UC Berkeley.
October 8, 2019

Teeter totters as activism: How the border wall became a playground

When UC Berkeley architect Ronald Rael took his bright pink teeter totters to the U.S.-Mexico border wall, he didn’t know what he and his team did next would go viral. He just wanted to create a moment where people on both sides of the wall felt connected to each other. “Women and children completely disempowered this wall for a moment, for 40 minutes,” says Rael. “There was a kind of sanctuary hovering over this event.”
December 1, 2017

A research experience to smile about

Neha Zahid came to Puranchaur and Hansapur in the winter of 2016 with Karen Sokal-Gutierrez in collaboration with a local Nepali non-profit organization, Jevaia Oral Health Care, to teach proper nutrition and oral hygiene.
March 27, 2017

Renewable energy has robust future in much of Africa

As Africa gears up for a tripling of electricity demand by 2030, a new Berkeley study maps out a viable strategy for developing wind and solar power while simultaneously reducing the continent’s reliance on fossil fuels and lowering power plant construction costs.
June 27, 2016

To improve Beijing’s air quality, cut household fuel use too

China’s plans to curb Beijing’s health-damaging air pollution by focusing on restricting emissions from power plants and vehicles may have limited impact if household use of coal and other dirty fuels is not also curtailed, according to a new study.

June 20, 2016

Taiwan’s Tang Prizes awarded to Doudna, Rosenfeld

Taiwan’s top science award, the Tang Prize, has gone to two UC Berkeley scientists well-known in the fields of biochemistry and physics: Jennifer Doudna, for her invention of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, and Arthur Rosenfeld, often called the “godfather of energy efficiency.”

January 26, 2016

The case for accepting more, not fewer, Syrian refugees

Kate Jastram, an attorney and UC Berkeley expert in forced migrations, says closing U.S. doors to Syrian refugees would deepen America’s anti-Muslim reputation and alienate the 3.3 millions Muslims already living here.

March 25, 2015

UC Berkeley first university to house a center for Bangladesh studies

The first university-housed center for Bangladesh studies officially opens at UC Berkeley on March 30 with Chancellor Nicholas Dirks presiding over an invitation-only ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a talk by Sir Fazle Abed, founder and CEO of BRAC, one of the world’s largest NGOs.

January 27, 2015

Long dry spell doomed Mexican city 1,000 years ago

The former city and now archaeological site called Cantona in the highlands east of Mexico City appears to have been abandoned nearly 1,000 years ago as a result of a prolonged dry spell that lasted about 650 years, according to a new study.

March 27, 2014

Michael Dear Receives AAG Global Book Award

Michael Dear’s Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the US–Mexico Divide, published by Oxford University Press, has been selected by the Globe Book Award Committee to receive the 2013 Association of American Geographers Globe Book Award for Public Understanding of Geography.

February 4, 2014

Magnes exhibition explores intellectual migration

A new exhibition at UC Berkeley’s Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life tells the stories of more than 70 scholars, writers and artists – many of them Jewish, related to Jews or political dissidents – who escaped the rise of Nazism and fascism in Europe and brought their talents and dreams with them to UC Berkeley.
January 25, 2013

Playwright/alum Stan Lai to discuss creativity, theater

Stan Lai, considered the leading playwright/director in Asia and one of the region’s most prolific, is taking a break from his hectic schedule and heading back to his alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley, for a series of public talks and workshops about his own artistic practice and the state of modern theater.

January 17, 2013

Berkeley Law Launches Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice

On the eve of the 40-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade, UC Berkeley School of Law today announced the formal launch of its new Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice (CRRJ). It is one of the first research centers to study the legal, economic, and social impact of reproductive laws on women, families, and communities.

November 5, 2012

Probing the depths of poll work

About a million Americans — 100,000 of them in California — will spend Election Day as poll workers. Karin Mac Donald and Bonnie Glaser, director and research specialist, respectively, at Berkeley Law’s Election Administration Research Center, say it’s a role that’s stressful and underappreciated.

October 10, 2012

Grave Matters

Thomas Laqueur studies the role of cemeteries in civilization.

October 9, 2012

Arsenic water filter recognized with international prize

A team led by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab)’s Ashok Gadgil is the recipient of the 5th Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water. Gadgil, head of the Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division and a Professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, will receive the Creativity Prize on behalf of the team.

October 4, 2012

BPA linked to thyroid hormone changes in pregnant women, newborns

Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-like compound that has drawn increased scrutiny in recent years, has been linked to changes in thyroid hormone levels in pregnant women and newborn boys, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

October 2, 2012

Reports shows political preferences of California’s Asian Americans

Asian Americans, who account for 10 percent of registered voters in California, support a tax measure proposed by Governor Jerry Brown, are closely divided on the death penalty ballot measure, overwhelmingly support affirmative action, and support tax increases, according to two new reports from the National Asian American Survey.

October 2, 2012

Voters act on performance, not policy, new book says

Voters in U.S. presidential races make choices based on a candidate’s performance rather than on his or her policy positions – even when those stances run counter to the voters’ own, according to a new book by a University of California, Berkeley, political scientist.

September 14, 2012

Conference explores California’s fiscal crisis

The University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) is sponsoring an all-day conference on Sept. 21, to explore “California’s Fiscal Crisis: Prospects for Deficit Reduction and Pension Reform in the Golden State.”

September 11, 2012

Symposium targets sleep, stress and obesity

One of the first scientific conferences to focus on how the health risks of sleep loss, obesity, and stress interact will be held next week at the University of California, Berkeley.

September 4, 2012

Crowd-sourced online reviews help fill restaurant seats, study finds

A new study by UC Berkeley economists analyzed restaurant ratings on and found that, on a scale of 1 to 5, a half-star rating increase translates into a 19 percent greater likelihood that an eatery’s seats will be full during peak dining times. The study, published this month in the Economic Journal, found that the increase is independent of changes in price or in food and service quality.

August 28, 2012

Temp workers face increased likelihood of poverty

California's temporary workers are twice as likely as other employees in California to live in poverty, receive food stamps and be on Medicaid, according to a new report from the UC Berkeley's Center for Labor Research and Education.
August 22, 2012

Intense prep for law school admission test alters brain structure

Intensive preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for reasoning, according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

August 14, 2012

Girls with ADHD more prone to self-injury, suicide as they enter adulthood

“Like boys with ADHD, girls continue to have problems with academic achievement and relationships, and need special services as they enter early adulthood,” said Stephen Hinshaw, UC Berkeley professor of psychology and lead author of a study that reports after 10 years on the largest-ever sample of girls whose ADHD was first diagnosed in childhood.

August 13, 2012

Why are people overconfident so often? It’s all about social status

The lure of social status promotes overconfidence, explains Haas School Associate Professor Cameron Anderson. He co-authored a new study, “A Status-Enhancement Account of Overconfidence,” with Sebastien Brion, assistant professor of managing people in organizations, IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Haas School colleagues Don Moore, associate professor of management, and Jessica A. Kennedy, now a post-doctoral fellow at the Wharton School of Business.

May 24, 2012

I School grad student profiles rural Chinese Internet users

China has more than half a billion Internet users, 136 million of whom live in rural areas. School of Information PhD student Elisa Oreglia, in an award-winning ethnographic study, looks at how older, less-educated villagers — many of whom claim to be Web illiterate — often become comfortable with computers by observing their younger family members.

May 1, 2012

AFRON builds robotics education, research, industry in Africa

Roboticists in Ghana and at UC Berkeley this week launched AFRON, the African Robotics Network, an initiative to enhance robotics education, research and industry in Africa. Co-founder is professor Ken Goldberg, a fellow with IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

March 17, 2011

Nuclear Experts Say U.S. Safe from Japan Radiation

Radiation from a tsunami-crippled nuclear power plant in Japan does not pose a public safety risk to people outside of the disaster area, UC Berkeley nuclear engineers told an overflow audience of about 100 people at the Institute for East Asian Studies.

December 22, 2010

Third human species discovered in Siberian cave

The discovery of a finger bone in a Siberian cave has led researchers, including UC Berkeley's Montgomery Slatkin, to conclude that there were three species of humans living 40,000 years ago. The new species, dubbed Denisovans, were neither modern humans nor Neanderthals, though they apparently bred with our ancestors.