Fall 2016 at IGS

December 8, 2016

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Greetings! It has been a busy and rewarding Fall here at the Institute of Governmental Studies. As the semester comes to a close I’d like to take a moment to look back and share some highlights with you.

Of Note

We began the semester with big news: Senator Barbara Boxer announced that she was donating more than two decades of her congressional papers to the Bancroft Library. Senator Boxer also announced the launch of the annual Barbara Boxer Lecture Series, an annual event co-sponsored by IGS and the Bancroft library, that will focus in part on woman in leadership. “Berkeley agreed to make this a ‘living’ archive with the annual Barbara Boxer Lecture Series,” said Senator Boxer. “I hope these archives will provide insights for historians, students, and future generations.”

IGS and the Field Poll have a history of collaboration on public opinion surveys and other issues and this Fall was no different.  Throughout the election IGS and Field released polls on the state of the Presidential and Senate races in CA, and public opinion on the propositions. The polls, which received statewide – and national – media coverage, provided vital information and insight on voters’ opinions.  Full results can be found here.

We continued our series of faculty research profiles. Our thanks to David A. Carrillo, Irene Bloemraad, Sarah Anzia and Tom Mann for taking the time to share their work with us. Check back for more from our affiliated faculty as we continue to develop this feature. 


As is our tradition, IGS and the Matsui Center hosted a series of election related events this semester. From our Fall Campaign Kick-Off with Terri Bimes, Gabe Lenz, Mindy Romero and Laura Stoker, to our Presidential and Vice-Presidential Debate Watching Parties, our Election Eve Update and Election Night Watch Party, we engaged with students and community members about this historic election. 

This year’s Underhill Lecture, “Making Britain Great Again? Lessons for American from Brexit” was given to a packed house by historian and political commentator Niall Ferguson. Ferguson, who dubbed 2016 “The Year of the Improbable,” spoke of similar themes and undercurrents in the Brexit campaign and the race for the White House, including polling errors and anti-immigrant sentiments.  The Underhill Lecture is sponsored by the Anglo-American Studies Program here at IGS.

This year’s Baxter Liberty Initiative welcomed Greg Lukianoff, President of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) who spoke on Sex, Violence and Revolution: Academic Freedom and the Law of Free Speech on Campus. Berkeley Law’s Daniel Farber served as the respondent.  

We continue to welcome eminent and timely speakers to IGS with the Harold Smith Defense and National Security Series. Herb Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, captivated the audience with his talk Punching and Punching Back in Cyberspace.  Amy Zegart, Co-Director of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, insightfully spoke of Hot Spots, Hard Times: Why Grand Strategy is Impossible and What the Next President Can Do. 

Finally, IGS made our first foray into Washington, DC with a post-election conference, Election 2016: California and the Country.  Held at the National Press Club, the event included three panels; one on the California results and the potential lessons for the nation, one on the media and the 2016 election, and a final roundtable on the prospects for national governance in a Trump Administration and a unified Republican Congress.  Featured speakers included: Chairman Jim Brulte, Former Speaker John A. Perez, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago-Sun Times, CNN’s Brianna Keilar, Tamara Keith of NPR, Peter Hart, Thomas E. Mann and Steven F. Hayward and Amy Walter, National Editor of the Cook Political Report. A full roster of participants and videos of each panel can be found here.

Recent publications

The latest issue of the California Journal of Politics and Policy was published in October. The California-centric issue, entitled “Politics in the Golden State” featured articles on politics and regional identities, funding transportation, political boundary laws and paparazzi.  The journal is open-access and back issues can be found online. 

CJPP also re-published the latest IGS Research Brief, which was first released separately in August. Delving into the results of the Summer 2016 IGS Poll, findings show support extending taxes on the wealthy, legalizing marijuana and toughening gun control.  Previous research briefs can be found here.

The Berkeley Public Policy Press recently published Change from the Inside: My Life, the Chicano Movement, and the Story of an Era by Richard Alatorre with Marc Grossman. The book chronicles Alatorre’s extraordinary role as a pioneering activist and political figure in the momentous events that advanced Latino empowerment from the 1960s through the 1990s.

Looking to the Spring

We are looking forward to an exciting slate events this Spring – from lectures and book talks, to workshops and student activities, fellowships and awards – so stay tuned. This includes our Annual Salon Gala fundraiser, which will no doubt shed light on the aftermath of this unprecedented electoral season. 

And finally, thank you for being a part of the IGS community; we are grateful for your continued engagement and participation in our activities and events. We are able to accomplish such great things at IGS each semester because of our dedicated staff, enthusiastic faculty, engaged students – and supporters like you.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. 


Jack Citrin

Heller Professor of Political Science

Director, Institute of Governmental Studies

University of California, Berkeley