interstate road sign featuring California map

The California Studies Program fosters serious research, public events, and publications surrounding critical issues facing the state of California. By focusing scholarly efforts on issues of California policy and politics, the California Studies Program continues the long IGS tradition of emphasizing the study of the Golden State. The California Studies Program has four principal components:

The IGS Poll

IGS conducts periodic polling in California. These polls are designed to measure public opinion on topics of importance to the state's policymaking community, and to generate valuable data for subsequent scholarly analysis.

In 2011 and 2012, IGS collaborated with the Field Poll, California's oldest and most-respected independent pollster, on the following polls:


Research projects focus on issues of key importance to California. In the summer of 2012, for example, a study by IGS Affiliated Faculty member Gabe Lenz examined the effects of the state’s new “top two” system of elections, which has replaced partisan primaries.

Public Events

Public Events in the California Studies Program seek to develop an ongoing discourse surrounding issues of importance to the state. In the spring of 2012, a panel examined the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s existing tax system, and the potential for improvements. Check our events page to register, and learn more, about upcoming events.


Publications from the California Studies Program seek to broaden the reach of the Institute by creating a wider audience for our work. The California Journal of Politics and Policy, published online, includes peer-reviewed academic papers on a wide variety of topics important to the state.  The Berkeley Public Policy Press, the IGS publishing imprint, produces books focused on California issues. Recent titles include: More Votes That Count, an examination of election administration issues in San Joaquin County, California Votes, 2010 Governor's Race, the story of California’s extraordinary gubernatorial campaign in 2010, and in the summer of 2013, the Institute will publish the third edition of Governing California: Politics, Government, and Public Policy in the Golden State.