Berkeley Faculty

Ron E. Hassner: Religion and Politics

Ron E. Hassner

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Berkeley political scientist Ron E.Hassner for a discussion of his book, War on Sacred Grounds. Hassner discusses the challenges facing international relations scholars and policy makers as they address political conflict in which religion plays a central role. He emphasizes understanding religion on its own terms in order to move toward rationally addressing the religious processes at work in conflict situations. Hassner defines the essential features of sacred places and describes the factors making holy places so contentious an issue in...

Robert M. Berdahl: Leading Berkeley into the 21st Century

Robert M. Berdahl

Chancelor Berdahl discusses his work as a historian and the challenges facing the Berkeley campus

Key Words: Historians, University Presidents, University of California, Leadership, Higher Education, Berkeley Faculty

Robert A. Scalapino: Reflections on a Life as Scholar, Teacher, and Policy Advisor

Robert A. Scalapino

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Robert A. Scalapino, the Robson Research Professor of Government Emeritus and founding Director of the Institute of East Asian Studies at U.C Berkeley. Professor Scalapino discusses Berkeley's evolution as a leading center for Asian Studies, analyzes the synergy between academic research and foreign policy, and comments on the transformation of America's relationship with Asia which he has witnessed over the course of his six decade career.


Pranab Bardhan: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India

Pranab Bardhan

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Berkeley economist Pranab Bardhan for a discussion of his new book, Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay. Bardhan discusses his interest in poverty and inequality in the context of his intellectual odyssey. He then focuses on the myths and realities surrounding the emergence of China and India, addressing several questions including: What have these countries achieved? How did they do it? How do they compare in terms of inequality and social welfare? What are the factors that explain their reemergence as economic powerhouses? What has been the...

Peter Dale Scott: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America

Peter Dale Scott

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Peter Dale Scott for a discussion of secrecy and its consequences in the making of U.S. foreign policy. Their discussion focuses on CIA interventions, the rise of Al Qaeda, the role of U.S. government in supporting Islamic jihadists to counter Soviet power during the Cold War, and the response of the Bush administration to the 911 attack.


Nelson Polsby: Institutional Change in the U.S.Congress

Nelson Polsby

In this edition of Conversations with History, Berkeley political scientist Nelson Polsby in an interview with UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler offers insight into the workings of the US congress.

Key Words: Politics, Political Scientists, U.S. Congress, Berkeley Faculty, RIP

Neil Smelser: Intellectual Odyssey

Neil Smelser

Host Harry Kreisler welcomes Berkeley sociologist Neil Smelser for a discussion of his intellectual odyssey.

Key Words: Sociologists, Terrorism, Theory, Social Science, Berkeley Faculty, Psychoanalysis, RIP

Neil J. Smelser: Reflections on the University of California: From the Free Speech Movement to the Global University.

Neil J. Smelser

Drawing on decades of experience as a sociologist actively engaged as advisor to chancellors and observer of the Berkeley campus, Smelser discusses the Free Speech Movement, university leadership, surprises confronting campus administrators, affirmative action, and athletics. Drawing on the lessons of the last fifty years, he also analyzes the challenges facing the University of California in the 21 century.

Key Words: Sociologists, University of California, Higher Education, Berkeley Faculty

John R. Searle: Philosophy and the Habits of Critical Thinking

John R. Searle

Conversations with History and Host Harry Kreisler welcome UC Berkeley Professor of Philosophy John R. Searle who talks about the work of a philosopher, critical thinking, and lessons of the Free Speech Movement.

Key Words: Philosophers, Brain, Consciousness, Theory, Humans and Machines, Berkeley Faculty, Scientific Inquiry

John Heilbron: Science and History

John Heilbron

"Science and History" - Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes historian John Heilbron, the 2007 Hitchcock Lecturer, for a discussion of the history of science. He reflects on his contributions to the field, analyzes the challenges of studying science as a historian, and offers insight into the value of science history for society. John Heilbron also discusses his years as Vice Chancellor of the Berkeley campus.