2023-2024

How to Balance Clashing Scholars' Academic Freedoms?

December 7 | 10:00-11:30 AM | 223 Philosophy Hall 

The “I have academic freedom” claim may be problematic when it is adopted by two or more opposing scholars. Administrators, senior faculty, and judges may face the problem of handling such clashing scholars’ rights. In the talk, a three-tier process of assessing contradicting claims will be explored. Three weighting mechanisms will be introduced in order to assist in handling such cases. The theory will be put to the test with reference to real-life experiences.

Peter Feaver

November 30| 4:00-5:45PM| 223 Philosophy Hall

Please join the Alexander Hamilton Society in hosting Dr. Peter Feaver of Duke University and Dr. Ken Goldberg, William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering at UC Berkeley, for a conversation on civil-military relations and Dr. Feaver's new book Thanks for Your Service: The Causes and Consequences of Public Confidence in the US Military.

We, the Data: Human Rights in the Digital Age

November 14|11:45AM-1:00PM| 223 Philosophy Hall

Wendy H. Wong studies global governance.  She is particularly attentive to how non-state actors (e.g. nongovernmental organizations, civil society actors, social movements, corporations) govern at the global and domestic levels.  Her areas of interest are emerging technologies like AI, Big Data, human rights, and humanitarian assistance. 

Ahead of Biden-Xi's Talk: A Conversation With Hong Kong Advocate Anna Kwok

November 13|5:00-6:30PM|223 Philosophy Hall

In partnership with the Hong Kong Affairs Association of Berkeley (HKAAB) and the Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC), the Institute of International Studies (IIS) is co-sponsoring this event that delves into the core issues of U.S.-China relations, foreign policy, and human rights advocacy. Anna will shed light on how Hong Kongers can shape the decision-making process in Washington D.C., advocating for human rights and navigating the prevailing policy challenges and opportunities.

Resumes and Cover Letters Workshop

November 9 | 5:00-6:30PM | 223 Philosophy Hall 

Trying to secure a job or internship? Trying to game AI resume-screeners? Hate writing cover letters? Our workshop will be led by an experienced peer advisors who will share their expertise and provide practical advice to help you create a standout resume and cover letter. Whether you're a freshman exploring career opportunities, a sophomore seeking internships, or a senior preparing for post-graduation job searches, this workshop is designed to cater to students at all stages of their academic journey.

Defending Democracy: In Conversation with Dr. Amy Gutmann

October 26 | 4:15-5:15PM| Banatao Auditorium 

Amy Gutmann is an American academic and diplomat who has served as the United States Ambassador to Germany since 2022. Prior to this, she was the eighth President of the University of Pennsylvania, and her tenure as a President was the longest in the school’s history. Her leadership has been called transformational. She was committed to making Penn a global leader in teaching, research, and professional practice, and a force for social, economic, and civic progress. 

Life as a Diplomat: A Career Talk with William Humnicky

October 26 | 5:00-6:00PM| 223 Philosophy Hall

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a diplomat? Join this IIS Career Talk with William Humnicky who served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. embassies in Nepal, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka. As a diplomat, he provided economic, environmental, human rights, and political analysis that was essential to policy making, built alliances that served as a multiplier to achieve strategic goals, and advised C-suite management, ambassadors, Members of Congress and the secretary of state on global strategic issues.

George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq

October 24|4:00-5:30PM|223 Philosophy Hall

This talk reassesses Bush’s role and motives for invading Iraq in March 2003. Using evidence from a unique set of interviews and from US, British, and Iraqi documents, Melvyn Leffler will discuss the role of fear, power, hubris, and dysfunction in US decision-making and will highlight the importance of Saddam Hussein’s agency and defiance. While stressing that Bush did not rush to war, he will illuminate why Bush’s coercive diplomacy failed and why his military occupation turned to tragedy.

Networking & Informational Interviews Workshop

October 19 | 5:00-6:00PM|223 Philosophy Hall

Interested in a career in international relations and diplomacy, but don't know where to start? IIS brings you a curated workshop covering not just the importance of networking, but how to go about it and reach out to industry professionals for more insight. Learn the strategies and techniques to build meaningful professional connections and expand your network. Discover the power of online and offline networking. Gain insights into the world of informational interviews and how they can help you explore career paths, gather industry knowledge, and secure job opportunities. Food will be provided for students during the workshop. 

Never Forgotten: Sacred Promise to Bring Them Home

October 18 |4:00-5:30PM| 223 Philosophy Hall

Ever wonder what America is doing to bring home MIAs from past conflicts? Come learn how history, science and diplomacy intersect as the Defense Department works to bring thousands of heroes back to their families even decades later and fulfill our nation's promise to never leave an American behind. 

Academic Freedom: Merit-Based Science is Effective & Fair' How Such a Banal Idea has Become Controversial

October 12 | 4:00-5:30PM| 223 Philosophy Hall

Anna Krylov is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Southern California. Her research group, the Krylov group, develops theoretical methods and state-of-the-art computer codes for treating electronically excited and open-shell species.

Academic Freedom: Current Challenges to Academic Freedom

September 19 | 4:00-5:30PM| 223 Philosophy Hall 

Speaker Dr. Keith E. Whittington is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics, Princeton University. 

International Fellowships Info Session

April 26 | 12:00PM-1:30PM | 223 Philosophy Hall

Join us for an exclusive event featuring Nicholas Schafer, where he’ll provide insights into prestigious fellowship opportunities for IIS students! Learn about the Boren, Fulbright, Marshall fellowships, and more. Discover eligibility criteria, application processes, and benefits associated with these renowned programs. Engage in a Q&A session to get personalized advice. Don’t miss this chance to explore global opportunities and kickstart your international career!

The Taming of Scarcity and the Problems of Plenty – Rethinking International Relations and American Grand Strategy for a New Era

April 24 | 4:00PM-5:30PM | 223 Philosophy Hall 

The underlying structure, incentives and costs shaping international relations, state behaviour and the nature of power are profoundly different today to how they were in the past, in ways that are scarcely recognised and widely misunderstood. For much of history, world politics was marked by profound scarcity in resources, information and security. A series of historical revolutions has largely tamed this scarcity in ways few could have imagined. These revolutions, however, have generated new, potentially catastrophic challenges for the world – the problems of plenty. In this Adelphi book, Francis J. Gavin argues that the institutions, practices, theories and policies that helped explain and largely tamed scarcity by generating massive prosperity, and which were sometimes used to justify punishing conquest, are often unsuitable for addressing the problems of plenty.

International Careers Panel: Professionals Across Sectors Share Their Stories

April 25| 5:00-8:00PM| B100 in Blum Hall
Unsure what career you want to pursue in the international field after graduation? Join us for an illuminating panel discussion featuring professionals in international work and service and across sectors and roles. Panelists will share their personal career stories, offer invaluable insights into their respective fields and the diverse array of opportunities available in the international arena. From tech giants like Meta to leading development organizations like USAID, our panelists represent a rich tapestry of experiences and expertise. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a dynamic Q&A session followed by an opportunity to individually and informally connect with our guests afterwards.

The Nexus Between Climate Change and National Security

April 19 | 4:00PM | Berkeley Law Room 100

The Alexander Hamilton Society at Berkeley is pleased to host General John Allen, United States Marine Corps (Retired), and the Honorable Janet Napolitano, former Secretary of Homeland Security, for a panel discussion on the nexus between climate change and national security. The event will be held in Berkeley Law Room 100 from 4:00 PM to 5:45 PM on Friday, April 19th. This talk is co-sponsored by the Institute of International Studies, the Center for Security in Politics, the Berkeley Risk and Security Lab, the CITRIS Policy Lab, the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. 

Career Talk with Carter Malkasian

April 12| 4:00PM-5:00PM | 223 Philosophy Hall 

Do you yearn for insights, guidance, and inspiration to navigate your future career path successfully? Look no further! We are thrilled to extend a warm invitation to you for an enriching Career Talk with Professor Carter Malkasian who is the Chair of the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School. He has extensive experience in conflict zones, especially Afghanistan and Iraq, and has published several books. From 2015 to 2019, he was the senior civilian advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford. The highlight of his work in conflict zones was two years in Garmser district in southern Helmand province, Afghanistan (2009 to 2011), as the State Department political officer, working alongside five consecutive infantry battalions, Afghan tribal leaders, and Afghan local leaders in villages on the Helmand River.

Career Talk with Brandon Williams: From History to National Security Policy Research

April 11 | 5:00PM - 6:00PM |223 Philosophy Hall 

In this talk, intended more as a conversation than lecture, Brandon will discuss his career pivot into national security policy research and analysis. He’ll outline his path, lessons, and general advice for those considering a career in national security. He switched from academic history to technology and national security policy during his final dissertation year. It was neither easy nor linear. He recommends reading Andrew Reddie’s “We Want You” in Emerging Technology Policy Careers for those intrigued by the national labs and federally funded research and development centers.

The Meaning of Brexit and the Future of the United Kingdom

April 10 | 4:00-5:30PM | 223 Philosophy Hall 

The Brits are well known for their strange antics but many people around the world found Brexit truly surreal. Cambridge history professor David Reynolds will try to explain why the British found it so hard to live inside the European Union and why they found it equally hard to leave – making fools of five prime ministers along the way. He will offer colorful portraits of figures such as Boris Johnston and David Cameron. And he will reflect on another problematic union – the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” – examining its roots in centuries of English empire-building and asking whether the UK can really hang together in an era of mounting nationalism.  

A Century of Anarchy? War, Normativity, and the Birth of Modern International Order

April 8 | 5:00PM - 6:00PM | 201 Philosophy 

The nineteenth century has been understood as an age in which states could wage war against each other if they deemed it politically necessary. According to this narrative, it was not until the establishment of the League of Nations, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and the UN Charter that the “free right to go to war” (liberum ius ad bellum) was gradually outlawed. Better times dawned as this anarchy of waging war ended, resulting in radical transformations of international law and politics. However, as a “free right to go to war” has never been empirically proven, this story of progress is puzzling. In his forthcoming book A Century of Anarchy?: War, Normativity, and the Birth of Modern International Order (Oxford University Press, 2024), Hendrik Simon challenges this narrative by outlining a genealogy of modern war justifications and drawing on scientific, political, and public discourses

The Monroe Doctrine: Past, Present, & Future

March 21st | 4:00-6:00PM | 223 Philosophy Hall

Please join us on Thursday, March 21, from 4-6pm in 223 Philosophy Hall for a lecture by Jay Sexton, the Rich and Nancy Kinder Chair of Constitutional Democracy, Professor of History, and Director of the Kinder Institute at the University of Missouri. A prolific historian of American foreign relations during the 19th century, Professor Sexton has published influential books on topics ranging from transnational finance in the Civil War Era to anti-imperialism and the centrality of international crises to American history from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries. His talk will concern yet another area of his research expertise: “The Monroe Doctrine: Past, Present, & Future.”

Webinar. Organizing and Fighting Attacks on University Autonomy and Academic Freedom

March 15th |10:30AM | Zoom | 

Most markedly in Florida and Texas, but now in many other states across the country, legislation aims to restrict what can be taught in universities, what topics and issues can be the subject of research or campus programming, and what analyses of history and social conflict are permissible to discuss. Our panel will bring together scholars and leaders who are active in national initiatives to speak out, organize, and respond to legislative attacks on academic freedom.

China's Nuclear Breakout: Causes and Consequences

March 15 | 4:00PM | 223 Philosophy Hall 

The Alexander Hamilton Society at Berkeley is pleased to host Ms. Rebeccah Heinrichs, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, and Professor Andrew Reddie, Faculty Director of the Berkeley Risk and Security Lab, for a conversation on China's nuclear breakout, its causes, and its implications for U.S. nuclear strategy, moderated by Professor Karl Van Bibber, Professor of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley. This event is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Risk and Security Lab, the Institute of International Studies, the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium, the Center for Security in Politics, and the Nuclear Policy Working Group.

Germany in the World, 1500-2000: Reflections on a Theme

March 12th | 4:00-6:30PM | 223 Philosphy Hall

David Blackbourn’s Germany in the World: A Global History, 1500-2000 appeared last summer. A reviewer in the Economist said that “Readers of this book will never see Germany in quite the same way again”. In this lecture, the author discusses the thinking behind the book, talks about the challenges it presented, and draws out some of the main themes. There should be something for (almost) everyone, whether you are interested in merchants or missionaries, the German Atlantic or National Socialism, the works of Albrecht Dürer or the films of Fatih Akin.

Degrees of Order, Measures of Freedom: Modern German History and the Challenge of Postmodern Historiography

March 5 | 5:00PM | 223 Philosophy Hall

Although “progressive” narratives of modernity have come under attack for decades, the fundamental understanding of German history has largely remained in the framework of progress and aberration, catastrophe and eventual redemption. Somewhat paradoxical, even postcolonial approaches have recently reinforced a modified Sonderweg narrative, in their insistence on Germany’s colonial past as precursor of the Holocaust. What would a different understanding of this history look like? Against the backdrop of the complexities and multiple crises of our own times, the German trajectory since the Holy Roman Empire might better be conceived as a persistent struggle between regimes of order and measures of freedom. Indeed, the quest to reconcile order and freedom may be seen as a leitmotif of German history, from the liberal 1848ers’ rallying cry for “Freiheit und Ordnung” to the idea of “Ordoliberalismus” on which the Federal Republic was built. The retreat from progressivist narratives seems all the more vindicated by the ecological crisis and its imperative of writing German history in the Anthropocene.

Post-Imperial Possibilities: Eurasia, Eurafrica, Afroasia

Based on a recent book, this lecture examines three transcontinental projects aimed at finding alternatives to both empire and nation-state: Eurasia, Eurafrica, and Afroasia. The theory of Eurasianism was developed after the collapse of imperial Russia by exiled intellectuals alienated by both Western imperialism and communism. Eurafrica began as a design for collaborative European exploitation of Africa but was transformed in the 1940s and 1950s into a project to include France’s African territories in plans for European integration. The Afroasian movement sought to replace the vertical relationship of colonizer and colonized with a horizontal relationship among former colonial territories that could challenge both the communist and capitalist worlds. Both Eurafrica and Afroasia floundered, victims of old and new vested interests. But Eurasia revived in the 1990s, when Russian intellectuals turned the theory’s attack on Western hegemony into a recipe for the restoration of Russian imperial power. 

Diplomat Night with Ryan M. Gliha

February 27 | 3:00-4:00PM | 223 Philosophy Hall

Join IRCB and IIS for Diplomat night with the U.S. Department of State's Diplomat in Residence, Ryan M. Gliha! Ryan, with a rich diplomatic career and expertise in international relations, will share insights into careers and opportunities with the State Department. This event is a rare chance for students to learn from a seasoned diplomat about the paths available in diplomacy and international service. Don't miss out on this valuable experience to engage with and learn from a foreign service expert

Political Interference and Academic Freedom in Florida--A Discussion on the Recent AAUP Report

In their self-proclaimed “war on woke,” Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis and his supporters employed increasingly inflammatory rhetoric, “pushing back against the tactics of liberal elites." The Florida House and Senate passed legislation and the DeSantis administration took executive actions that further aimed to censor the teaching and learning of certain historical topics; potentially criminalize some discussions of race, gender, and sexuality; stigmatize, marginalize, and exclude transgender people; curb labor rights; restrict immigration; and stringently limit access to abortion. The threat to higher education and, more specifically, to foundational principles of shared governance and academic freedom, intensified in early January 2023.

How Understanding Moral Thinking Can Help Us Understand Debates About Academic Freedom

Moral thinking is inescapable in social life—we naturally see behaviors as deserving praise or condemnation and people as heroes or villains. Shared moral values bind groups together and motivate people to punish deviants. Disagreements about academic freedom on campus are so charged because for many people, the underlying issues are moral. In this talk, he will describe some insights from the scientific study of morality and how they can help us understand current debates about academic freedom and campus culture. 

Ace Your Interview: A Comprehensive Workshop for Student Success 

February 15 | 5:00-6:00PM | 223 Philosophy Hall

Find out how to successfully present yourself and stand out in an interview with our workshop! You will learn about how to prepare for interviews including choosing the right attire and researching the employer. We'll delve into showcasing your strength, responding to common interview questions and connecting with the interviewer/s. This workshop will be led by Heidi Yu, Associate Director, Counseling & Programs at the UC Berkeley Career Center.

National Security in an Uncertain World

February 13 | 4:00PM-6:00PM | Banatao Auditorium

Dr. Kimberly S. Budil will join BRSL for a discussion on the role of the national laboratories, specifically Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in today’s strategic ecosystem. She’ll discuss the Lab’s scientific vision, goals, and objectives, and touch on its critical programs related to national security and frontier challenges to strategic stability.

IIS Spring Undergrad Reception

February 5 | 5:00-6:00PM| 223 Philosophy Hall

Interested in a career in foreign policy, international relations, law, or human rights? Want to meet likeminded students? Learn more about the Institute of International Studies' career talk series, affiliated student groups with an international focus, and ways for you to get involved. This is an excellent opportunity for you to connect with other student organizations and individuals who share a passion for international studies.Food provided and an added 30 minutes to mingle.

Speaker Event with Professor Shibley Telhami

January 25 | 4:00PM | 223 Moses Hall

American college campuses have been at the center of charged political disputes in the weeks since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, and the subsequent attacks by Israel on Gaza. These heated debates have focused on the pressures on university presidents to take a stand, the behavior of student groups, allegations of antisemitism, and the censorship of pro-Palestinian speech. But less attention has been paid to one group directly affected by the controversies: the scholars who work on and teach about the Middle East, who often concentrate professionally on issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Presenting findings from opinion polling among scholars before and after the war started, carried out by the Middle East Scholars Barometer, Shibley Telhami will discuss the results and the ramifications.