You are here

Many of our events are video-recorded. You can see a list of available videos on our website. If you subscribe to our YouTube channel, you will be notified when new videos are available.



Wednesday, January 31 | 5:00-7:00pm 

Innocence and Violence: The Theology of a Gun Culture

Dominic Erdozain, Freelance Writer

Gun rights are typically identified with the Second Amendment – a legal, indeed constitutional, prerogative. This lecture argues that they are better understood as part of a culture and a belief system, centering on ideas of innocence and legitimate violence. I argue that this belief system is apparent in the contemporary gun culture’s confidence in the ‘law-abiding citizen’ as a stable and fixed category, and then I seek to explore its origins. The claim is that gun rights, while modern in form and intensity, rest upon older narratives of national righteousness and popular sovereignty, among them, Puritan concepts of salvation and judgment. Although the more sophisticated defenses of gun rights cite natural law and the notion of self-defense as a universal right, I argue that gun rights remain a set of special privileges – almost a code of entitlement. To engage this culture effectively, we need better understanding of the particular theologies from which it has emerged.

3335  Dwinelle Hall

Sponsor: Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion

Co-sponsors: The Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Berkeley Center for Right Wing Studies, and the History Department.


Tuesday, February 27 I 12:00-1:30pm

"Enemies of a Nation": The Roots of Rising Authoritarianism in Turkey

Melike Köse, CRWS Visiting Scholar and Professor, Kocaeli University, Turkey

Turkey has been governed under the state of emergency rule since the failed coup d’etat in July 2016. Since then, civil rights and liberties have been eroded daily by governmental decrees. Well-known NGO Freedom House, in its latest report on “Freedom in the World,” classified Turkey as “not free.”  Pressure on media and intellectuals has created an atmosphere of fear throughout Turkish society. While Turkey is going through one of the darkest periods in its political history, this state of exception, in Agamben terms, is not something new for the “others” who have been excluded for decades as enemies of the nation. 

At this talk, Professor Köse will take a brief look at the political history of Turkey, reaching back to the last period of the Ottoman Empire, in order to understand how internal and external threats to unity, security, secularism, and nation are defined and redefined, and how these discourses have become very convenient political instruments to justify the excessive and unconstitutional use of state power against “enemies” of the nation. This brief appraisal will reveal how the current authoritarianism coupled with populism in Turkey is justified in the eyes of some voters, by showing its roots in Turkish political culture.

Duster Conference Room, ISSI, 2420 Bowditch Street

Sponsor: Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, UC Berkeley


Thursday, March 15 I 4:00-5:30pm

Is the Alt-Right Collapsing?​

George Hawley, Assistant Professor of Political Science, The University of Alabama

In 2015 and 2016, the so-called Alt-Right – the latest iteration of the American white nationalist movement – experienced exponential growth. In 2017, it made headlines across the globe. Some feared it represented a serious threat to racial progress and even American democracy. However, the Alt-Right has also faced extraordinary setbacks, and it is not clear that it will even continue existing as a meaningful political or cultural force.  In this talk, Professor Hawley will reflect on the past, present and future of the Alt-Right in American politics.

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Sponsor: Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, UC Berkeley


Tuesday, April 10 I 4:00-5:30pm

Popular Neoliberalism: Readers and Viewers' Reactions to Milton Friedman

Dr. Maurice Cottier, Visiting Fellow, History Department, Harvard University

Milton Friedman was not only a leading neoliberal economist in the second half of the 20th century but, due to his popular books and appearances on TV, also a well-known public intellectual. Focusing on the reactions by viewers and readers of his book Capitalism and Freedom (1962) and book and TV series Free to Choose (1980), Maurice Cottier’s paper discusses how the broader public received Friedman’s message. The letters make it possible to investigate why people outside of academics, politics and the media were attracted by neoliberal free market ideas. 

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Sponsor: Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, UC Berkeley

Center for Right-Wing Studies
2420 Bowditch Street #5670
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5670
TEL: 510.643.7237
FAX: 510.642.8674
YouTube  Instagram  Twitter  FaceBook
University of California, Berkeley
Copyright UC Regents and UC Berkeley