Public Affairs


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Alice Rivlin, the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office who went on to serve as the Office of Management and Budget director under President Clinton and is now a Senior Fellow in Economics and Health Policy at the Brooking Institution, mulls today's paradox. At a time where policy makers and legislators have access to more data-based evidence about potential costs and effects of policies than ever before, the institutions that produce these independent analyses are under increasingly strident partisan attack. Dr. Rivlin speaks how evidence-based practitioners got into this tough situation, and how to navigate their way out. She is presented by the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Recorded on 10/27/2017.

Steve Clemons of the Atlantic talks with MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo. Her bestseller, "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving for a better life in a Mumbai slum. Based on three years of uncompromising reporting, she puts a human face on issues of inequality. Recorded on 04/16/2018.

Political scientist Amy Lerman explores the roots of why trust in government has declined over time even as its performance has improved around the country. She gives examples of how some services are evaluated differently, based on whether they were perceived as being run by public or private organizations. To change these negative attitudes, Lerman suggests that public officials do a better job at explaining what governments do in this conversation with Henry E. Brady, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

San Diego-raised novelist and UC San Diego alumnus, Luis Alberto Urrea '77 is the featured speaker at the UC San Diego Library annual gala. Urrea, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist, has written about the border and has knitted together stories in a way that makes them familiar and impactful for everyone. Recorded on 09/21/2018.

Overcoming gridlock to achieve solutions to society's pressing problems usually requires compromise but around a quarter of legislators reject compromise proposals if they perceive that their voters especially their primary voters - are likely to punish them for compromising. But political scientist Sarah Anderson shows that only a small slice of primary voters who oppose a particular policy really do punish compromise. Solutions that insulate legislators from the small groups of legislators who punish for compromise may allow legislators to more easily support a beneficial compromise. Recorded on 07/16/2018.

Hardly a week goes by without another controversy over free speech on college campuses. On one side, there are increased demands to censor hateful, disrespectful, and bullying expression and to ensure an inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment. On the other side are traditional free speech advocates who charge that recent demands for censorship coddle students and threaten free inquiry. UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman is an expert in the American Constitution and the Supreme Court. Here he discusses why campuses must provide supportive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body but can never restrict the expression of ideas. Recorded on 05/30/2018.

California State Assembly Member David Chiu, representing the 17th Assembly District, discusses the future of health policy in California. Moderated by Dr. Andrew Bindman UCSF Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Professor of Health Policy at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. Presented by the UCSF Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP). Recorded on 05/02/2018.

Recent hard right political mobilizations in the West are commonly framed as rebellions against neoliberalism. In this lecture Berkeley political theorist Wendy Brown questions that framing as it identifies neoliberal reason with the aim to replace robust democracy and social justice with authoritarian liberalism, traditional morality and, of course, unregulated markets. Politically pacified citizens disciplined by patriarchal families and free markets, themselves secured by lean, strong states this was the neoliberal dream. The dream twisted, of course, and the lecture concludes with reflections on the current conjuncture. Recorded on 10/30/2018.

Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan, identifies some of the most interesting policy ideas to address the problems of displaced workers, the skills gap and resulting inequality in an age of robots and artificial intelligence. Granholm teaches Public Policy at UC Berkeley's Goldman School and is the chair of the American Jobs Project, a multi-state research initiative on creating industrial clusters in clean energy. Recorded on 11/09/2018.

Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, discusses the future of food and public policy in California and around the world at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Secretary Ross covers everything from the challenges of water management in the face of climate change, to reforming United States immigration policy to benefit farmers, farm workers, and the country as a whole. Recorded on 9/05/2018.

When Congress reconvenes next year, Democrats will have a majority in the US House of Representatives. How will that change the dynamics in Washington? What does it mean for Congress and President Donald Trump? UC San Diego Professor Emeritus Sanford Lakoff discusses those questions, and other impacts of the 2018 midterm elections. Recorded on 11/20/2018.
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