Floods and Equity: A Panel Discussion

Co-sponsored by Global Metropolitan Studies and River-Lab, at UC Berkeley

Floods are the most destructive natural hazard, both at the national and international scale, and they disproportionately affect people of color and the poor. To understand this uneven exposure to floods requires that we understand the history of land use and institutional structures that have resulted in current exposure and inequitable allocation of resources for flood protection and for post-disaster aid (‘procedural vulnerability’).

One of the most critical agencies is the US Army Corps of Engineers, whose cost-benefit analysis approach tends to preclude flood risk management projects in poor communities.

In this presentation, recorded on May 12, 2022, panelists Danielle Zoe Rivera and Jessica Ludy drew upon their research on these topics and discuss pathways to improving on the current situation.

This panel was co-sponsored by Social Science Matrix, Global Metropolitan Studies, and River-Lab, from the University of California, Berkeley.

Listen to this panel as a podcast below, or on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.


Danielle Zoe RiveraDanielle Zoe Rivera is Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning in the College of Environmental Design. Rivera’s research examines movements for environmental and climate justice. Her current work uses community-based research methods to address the impacts of climate-induced disasters affecting low-income communities throughout South Texas and Puerto Rico. Rivera teaches on environmental planning and design, community engagement, and environmental justice. Her work has been published by the Journal of the American Planning Association, Environment and Planning, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the University of California Berkeley, Rivera taught Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Jessica Ludy Jessica Ludy (she/her) is the Flood Risk Program Manager and Environmental Justice Coordinator for the San Francisco District US Army Corps of Engineers. Through the Army Corps’ “Technical Assistance Programs,” Jessica and her team partner with communities in the San Francisco District Area of Responsibility to identify and implement solutions for equitable, just, and sustainable climate adaptation. Jessica also leads the San Francisco district’s efforts to implement the federal government’s priorities to advance social and environmental justice. Jessica’s work is informed and inspired by collaborations and scholarship of researchers and colleagues both inside and out of the federal government, and by the decades of environmental and disability justice leadership from indigenous peoples, people of color, and other historically-marginalized groups. Jessica is a co-chair of the Social Justice and Floodplain Management Task Force at the Association of State Floodplain Managers. Prior to the Army Corps, she worked on flood risk management and floodplain restoration as an environmental consultant, a Fulbright scholar, and at nonprofits. Jessica completed her Master’s in Environmental Planning at UC Berkeley in 2009.

Matrix On Point

One Million COVID Deaths

Presented as part of the Matrix on Point event series

As we pass the grim milestone of one million deaths in the United States, taking stock of the personal and collective consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic becomes an urgent task for social scientists.

Recorded on May 10, 2022, this panel examined the physical, material, and psychological toll of the past two years of rampant disease, on-and-off social distancing, and shifting economic ground. The panelists discussed the unequal distribution of the pandemic’s burden across the population and the long-term scarring that may ensue, and contemplated the (possibly more uplifting) lessons to be drawn for the future.

This event was co-sponsored by the Greater Good Science Center and the UC Berkeley Department of Psychology.


  • Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Greater Good Science Center
  • Tina Sacks, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare; author, Invisible Visits: Black Middle Class Women in the American Healthcare System (Oxford, 2019)
  • Andrew Wooyoung Kim, Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology, UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology
  • Iris Mauss (moderator), Professor, Berkeley Psychology

Listen to this panel as a podcast below on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.

Affiliated Centers

The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and The Challenge to American Democracy

Presented by the Citrin Center for Public Opinion Research

Recorded on April 29, 2022, this talk features John Sides, William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair and Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. His book, The Bitter End: The 2020 Presidential Campaign and the Challenge to American Democracy, is forthcoming this fall. He is an author of Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and The Battle for the Meaning of America, The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Election, and Campaigns and Election: Rules, Reality, Strategy, Choice.

Professor Sides has published articles in all the leading political science journals. He helped found and serves as publisher of The Monkey Cage, a site about political science and politics at the Washington Post, and has written for a wide range of media outlets. Sides received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

This event was co-sponsored by the Citrin Center for Public Opinion Research and Social Science Matrix.

Matrix On Point

Organize! Power and Collective Action

Part of the Matrix on Point event series

What can we learn from historical and contemporary cases about building organizations that engage, mobilize, and manage to wield influence on the political process? What kinds of infrastructural choices best support engagement and success in the long run? Recorded on May 5, 2022, this panel explored the varied and changing terrain of collective action to reflect on the nature, promises, and pitfalls of associational power in the 21st century.

This event was presented as part of the Matrix on Point event series and co-sponsored by the Center on Democracy and Organizing.

Listen as a podcast, below or on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.


Arisha Hatch is the vice president and chief of campaigns at Color Of Change, leading campaigns on civic engagement, voting rights, criminal justice, and corporate and media accountability. Arisha is a leader and innovator in the racial justice movement. She organized Black People’s Brunches, which brought together more than 12,500 civic-minded Black people in 2018 to discuss a host of social justice issues and helped to set the organization’s agenda for 2019 and beyond. Since joining Color Of Change in 2012, she has ushered in groundbreaking victories for Black communities. She championed getting payment processors like Mastercard and PayPal to ban the use of their platforms by white supremacists, persuaded Saturday Night Live to add two Black women to its cast and writer’s room mid-season and successfully led efforts to remove Donald Trump from Facebook and Twitter and R. Kelly from RCA. Before coming to Color Of Change, Arisha worked as a lawyer and organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She later served as the national organizing director of the Courage Campaign, where she helped lead groundwork for progressive change in California. In 2020, Arisha was named one of Essence Magazine’s Woke 100 and The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans. Her editorial writing has been published by Essence, The Root, The Grio and TechCrunch, and she is a regular commentator on political and social justice topics for major news outlets. Arisha was born in Texas and raised in Southern California. She has degrees in economics, creative writing and feminist studies from Stanford University, and she received her doctorate in law from Santa Clara University in California.

Liz McKenna is a postdoctoral scholar at the SNF Agora Institute and P3 Lab at Johns Hopkins University. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2020. Liz studies left and right-wing social movements in the United States and Brazil, using multiple methods to examine when civil society organizations safeguard against authoritarianism, and when they become the primary carriers of it. She is the co-author of Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2. Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America (Oxford University Press, with Hahrie Han) and Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America (University of Chicago Press, with Hahrie Han and Michelle Oyakawa). Liz received the 2021 American Sociological Association Best Dissertation Award for her dissertation on politics and organizing in contemporary Brazil. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a political and community organizer in Ohio and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Hahrie Han is the Inaugural Director of the SNF Agora Institute, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professor of Political Science, and Faculty Director of the P3 Research Lab at Johns Hopkins University. She specializes in the study of organizing, movements, civic engagement, and democracy. In 2022, she was named a Social Innovation Thought Leader of the Year by the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation. Her latest book was published by the University of Chicago Press in July 2021, entitled Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America. She has previously published three books: How Organizations Develop Activists; Groundbreakers: How Obama’s 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America; and, Moved to Action. Her award-winning work has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and numerous other outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a fifth book, to be published with Knopf (an imprint of Penguin Random House), about faith and race in America, with a particular focus on evangelical megachurches.

Michelle Oyakawa is an assistant professor of sociology at Muskingum University in Ohio. She studies the intersection of race, religion, and social movements through her research on leaders and organizations. She received her PhD in sociology from The Ohio State University in 2017. Her work has been published in academic journals, including Qualitative Sociology, Sociology of Religion, and the Journal of Community Psychology, and she is coauthor of two books about mobilization: Prisms of the People: Power and Organizing in 21st Century America (with Hahrie Han and Liz McKenna; University of Chicago Press, 2021) and Smart Suits, Tattered Boots: Black Ministers and Mobilization in the 21st Century (with Korie Edwards; New York University Press, forthcoming).

Margaret Levi is the Sara Miller McCune Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), Professor of Political Science, and Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute, Stanford University. Levi is the author or coauthor of numerous articles and six books, including Of Rule and Revenue (University of California Press, 1988); Consent, Dissent, and Patriotism (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Analytic Narratives (Princeton University Press, 1998); and Cooperation Without Trust? (Russell Sage, 2005). One of her most recent books, In the Interest of Others (Princeton, 2013), co-authored with John Ahlquist, explores how organizations provoke member willingness to act beyond material interest. In other work, she investigates the conditions under which people come to believe their governments are legitimate and the consequences of those beliefs for compliance, consent, and the rule of law. Her research continues to focus on how to improve the quality of government and how to generate a better political economic framework. She is also committed to understanding and improving supply chains so that the goods we consume are produced in a manner that sustains both the workers and the environment.

Marshall Ganz: As Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing and Civil Society at the Kennedy School of Government, Marshall Ganz teaches, researches, and writes on leadership, narrative, strategy and organization in social movements, civic associations, and politics. He grew up in Bakersfield, California where his father was a Rabbi and his mother, a teacher. He entered Harvard College in the fall of 1960. He left a year before graduating to volunteer with the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project. He found a “calling” as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and, in the fall of 1965 joined Cesar Chavez in his effort to unionize California farm workers. During 16 years with the United Farm Workers he gained experience in union, political, and community organizing; became Director of Organizing; and was elected to the national executive board on which he served for 8 years. During the 1980s he worked with grassroots groups to develop new organizing programs and designed innovative voter mobilization strategies for local, state, and national electoral campaigns. In 1991, in order to deepen his intellectual understanding of his work, he returned to Harvard College and after a 28-year “leave of absence” completed his undergraduate degree in history and government. He was awarded an MPA by the Kennedy School in 1993 and completed his PhD in sociology in 2000. He has published in the American Journal of Sociology, American Political Science Review, American Prospect, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review and elsewhere. His newest book, Why David Sometimes Wins: Leadership, Organization and Strategy in the California Farm Worker Movement was published in 2009, earning the Michael J. Harrington Book Award of the American Political Science Association. In 2007-8 he was instrumental in design of the grassroots organization for the 2008 Obama for President campaign. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in divinity by the Episcopal Divinity School. In association with the global Leading Change Network of organizers, researchers and educators he coaches, trains, and advises social, civic, educational, health care, and political groups on organizing, training, and leadership development around the world.

Lisa García Bedolla (moderator) is Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division and a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. She uses the tools of social science to reveal the causes of political and educational inequalities in the United States. She has published six books and dozens of research articles, earning five national book awards and numerous other awards. She has consulted for presidential campaigns and statewide ballot efforts and has partnered with over a dozen community organizations working to empower low-income communities of color. Through those partnerships, she has developed a set of best practices for engaging and mobilizing voters in these communities, becoming one of the nation’s foremost experts on political engagement within communities of color.

Matrix Research Team

Digital Transformations in Global Land, Housing, and Property

Recorded on April 27, 2022, this panel discussion brought together members of the UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix Research Team on Digital Transformations in Property and Development to discuss how state, corporations, and grassroots actors are employing digital technologies to remake global land, housing, and property.

Panelists included Hilary Faxon, Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley; Elizabeth Resor, PhD student in the UC Berkeley School of Information; Julien Migozzi, Research Associate in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford; Luis F. Alvarez León, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, Dartmouth College; and Jovanna Rosen, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Rutgers University-Camden. The panel was moderated by Desiree Fields, Assistant Professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies at UC Berkeley.

The event was co-sponsored by Global Metropolitan Studies and the Network for a New Political Economy (N2PE).


Listen to this discussion as a podcast below, or on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.

Authors Meet Critics

Engineering Vulnerability: In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation

Part of the Matrix “Authors Meet Critics” series

Recorded on April 22, 2022, this “Author Meets Critics” panel focused on the book Engineering Vulnerability: In Pursuit of Climate Adaptation by Sarah Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Professor Vaughn was joined in conversation by Stephen Collier, Professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, and Sugata Ray, Associate Professor in the Departments of History of Art and South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. The panel was moderated by Daniel Aldana Cohen, Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley and Director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2. This event was co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability.

The “Authors Meet Critics” book series features lively discussions about recently published books authored by social scientists at UC Berkeley. For each event, the author discusses the key arguments of their book with fellow scholars. These events are free and open to the public.

About the Book

In Engineering Vulnerability, Sarah E. Vaughn examines climate adaptation against the backdrop of ongoing processes of settler colonialism and the global climate change initiatives that seek to intervene on the lives of the world’s most vulnerable. Her case study is Guyana in the aftermath of the 2005 catastrophic flooding that ravaged the country’s Atlantic coastal plain. The country’s ensuing engineering projects reveal the contingencies of climate adaptation and the capacity of flooding to shape Guyanese expectations about racial (in)equality. Analyzing the coproduction of race and vulnerability, Vaughn details why climate adaptation has implications for how we understand the past and the continued human settlement of a place. Such understandings become particularly apparent not only through experts’ and ordinary citizens’ disputes over resources, but in their attention to the ethical practice of technoscience over time. Approaching climate adaptation this way, Vaughn exposes the generative openings as well as gaps in racial thinking for theorizing climate action, environmental justice, and more broadly, future life on a warming earth.


Listen to this event as a podcast below, or on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.

About the Panelists

Sarah VaughnSarah E. Vaughn is a sociocultural anthropologist working at the intersection of environmental anthropology, critical social theory, and science and technology studies.  She received her B.A. in 2006 from Cornell University, majoring as a College Scholar with a focus in Anthropology, Sociology, and Inequality Studies. She was awarded a Ph.D. in 2013 from the Department of Anthropology, Columbia University. Her research advances understandings of climate change in the Circum-Caribbean while tracking the affective, ethical, and political components of dignity and belonging. At stake in her research are questions about the role climate change has in shaping the materiality of expertise, an ethics of (re)distribution, and narrative form. She is affiliated with the Center for Science, Technology and Medicine, The Program in Critical Theory, and the Program in Development Engineering.

Stephen CollierStephen Collier studies city planning and urban governance from the broad perspective of the critical social science of expertise and expert systems. His work addresses a range of topics, including climate resilience and adaptation, emergency preparedness and emergency management, neoliberal reform, infrastructure, and urban social welfare. Collier examines both contemporary and historical topics, and is engaged with a number of sub-disciplinary fields, including science and technology studies, actor-network theory, governmentality studies, and cultural geography. Collier’s current research examines urban resilience as a significant new paradigm and practice in city and regional planning. He has conducted fieldwork on urban resilience in New Orleans and New York, with ongoing comparative projects in other U.S. cities that examine how urban governments are developing and financing resilience interventions. Collier’s ongoing work on resilience builds on longer-term research on the genealogy of emergency government in the United States, which resulted in a co-authored book, The Government of Emergency: System Vulnerability, Expertise, and the Politics of Security (forthcoming, Princeton University Press). Collier is co-editor of Limn, a scholarly magazine on contemporary problems that arise at the intersection of science, technology, and expert knowledge. He has edited issues of Limn on systemic risk, disease ecologies, design and development, and public infrastructure.

Sugata RaySugata Ray is Associate Professor of South and Southeast Asian art in the Departments of History of Art and South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. His research and writing focus on climate change and the visual arts from the 1500s onwards. Ray is the author of Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550–1850 (2019; winner of the American Academy of Religion’s Religion and the Arts Book Award) and co-editor of Ecologies, Aesthetics, and Histories of Art (forthcoming) and Water Histories of South Asia: The Materiality of Liquescence (2020). He is currently writing a book on Indian Ocean art histories in the age of Anthropocene extinction.

Daniel Aldana CohenDaniel Aldana Cohen (moderator) is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is Director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2, and serves as a faculty affiliate in the graduate program on Political Economy. He is also Founding Co-Director of the Climate and Community Project. He is a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar (2021-23). In 2018-19, he was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green Deal (Verso 2019). He is currently completing a book project called Street Fight: Climate Change and Inequality in the 21st Century City, under contract with Princeton University Press.

Special Event

Solving Big Problems: Berkeley Psychology in the 21st Century

Part of the celebration of Berkeley Psychology’s 100 Year Anniversary

Recorded on April 27, 2022 as part of an ongoing series of events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, this video featured talks by three UC Berkeley Psychology faculty members: Professors Robert Knight, Sheri Johnson, and Jason Okonofua. The presentation was moderated by Serena Chen, Professor and Chair of Berkeley Psychology, and includes remarks by Raka Ray, Dean of the Division of the Social Sciences at UC Berkeley, and Carol Christ, Chancellor of UC Berkeley. The cutting-edge research of each of these faculty and their students uniquely illustrates how psychological science can contribute to solving a broad range of big problems at both the individual and societal levels.

Physiology of Human Cognition: Insights from Direct Brain Recording with Implications for Health and Disease

Bob KnightHow do we think, remember, speak, and socialize? Discovering the physiological substrate of these human behaviors presents one of the great scientific challenges of the 21st century. Evidence obtained from electrodes inserted into the human brain for treatment of medication refractory epilepsy provides unprecedented insight into the electrophysiological processes supporting human behavior. In this talk, Professor Bob Knight, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, reviews findings with implications for understanding brain function in health and how these findings might be used for development of neuroprosthetic devices for treatment of disabling neurological disorders.

Understanding and Managing Impulsivity

Sheri JohnsonFor decades, scientists have considered the role of impulsivity in contributing to mental health and behavioral outcomes. In the last 20 years, researchers have shown that one form of impulsivity—the tendency to engage in rash and regrettable behavior during states of high emotion—is particularly related to poor outcomes. In this talk, Sheri Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, reviews some of the outcomes tied to this form of impulsivity, and highlights new treatment development work.

Sidelining Bias: A Situationist Approach to Reduce the Consequences of Bias in Real-World Contexts

Jason A. OkonofuaBias and bias-reduction have become ubiquitous topics of research, policy, and practice. In this talk, Jason A. Okonofua, Assistant Professor of Psychology, introduces an approach to study and mitigate societal consequences of bias that begins with the presumption that people are inherently complex, that is, including multiple, often contradictory patterns of selves and goals. When we conceptualize the person this way, we can ask when biased selves are likely to emerge and whether we can sideline this bias—alter situations in potent ways that elevate alternative selves and goals that people will endorse and for which bias would be non-functional. My research shows how sidelining bias has led to meaningful improvements for thousands of individuals in real-world outcomes, including higher achievement and reduced school suspensions for youth and recidivism to jail for youth and adults.

Learn more at

Event Type

Catherine Hall: “Racial Capitalism: What’s In A Name?”

Racial capitalism has become a widely used term – but how should we define it and what specific forms does it take? Recorded on April 20, 2022, this talk by esteemed historian Catherine Hall focused on 18th-century Jamaica and the ways in which two separate sets of practices – racisms and capitalism – intersected to form a system embedded in both the metropolitan and the colonial states.

Catherine Hall is Emerita Professor of History and Chair of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery at University College London. Her recent work has focused on the relation between Britain and its empire: Civilising Subjects (2002), Macaulay and Son (2012) and Hall et al, Legacies of British Slave-ownership (2014). Between 2009-2015 she was the Principal Investigator on the ESRC/AHRC project “Legacies of British Slave-ownership,” which seeks to put slavery back into British history. Her new book will be Edward Long and Lucky Valley: Racial Capitalism and the History of Jamaica.  

This talk was co-sponsored by UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix, Department of Geography, Center for British Studies, Critical Theory Program, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and Department of History.


Matrix On Point

The Future of Money: Mobile Money, Social Media, and Cashless Economies

A series of cross-disciplinary conversations on today’s most pressing issues

How does the shift away from cash economies affect relationships of debt and belonging? Through studying forms of cashless payment, such as mobile money and apps, this panel of scholars explored questions about how the social connections made through money are changing, and what the implications might be for our understanding of money, trust, and social connection.

Recorded on April 14, 2022, this panel discussion was presented as part of the Matrix on Point series and co-sponsored by the Network for a New Political Economy (N2PE). The panel featured Kevin Donovan, Lecturer in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh; Lana Swartz, Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia; and Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The panel was moderated by Marion Fourcade, Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley and Director of Social Science Matrix.

Listen to This Event as a Podcast Below or on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.



Kevin DonovanKevin P. Donovan is an anthropologist and historian at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently writing a book on the history of economic decolonization in East Africa, focusing on central banks, the politics of price, and smuggling. In addition, he and Emma Park are working on a book about digital money, intimate infrastructures, and the corporate-state in Kenya. Writing on these topics is available at


Lana SwartzLana Swartz is assistant professor of Media Studies at University of Virginia. She is author of New Money: How Payment Became Social Media (Yale 2020) and co-author of Paid: Tales of Dongles, Checks, and Other Money Stuff (MIT 2017). She is currently working on two projects: a collaborative project about the promises and perils of CBDCs, and a book-length project about scams in the digital economy.


Jayati GhoshJayati Ghosh taught economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi for nearly 35 years. She is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, USA. She has authored and/or edited 20 books and more than 200 scholarly articles. Recent books include The making of a catastrophe: Covid-19 and the Indian economy, Aleph Books forthcoming 2022; When governments fail: Covid-19 and the economy, Tulika Books and Columbia University Press 2021 (co-edited); Women workers in the informal economy, Routledge 2021 (edited); Never Done and Poorly Paid: Women’s Work in Globalising India, Women Unlimited, New Delhi 2009; co-edited Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development, 2014; co-edited After Crisis, Tulika 2009; co-authored Demonetisation Decoded, Routledge 2017; She has published more than 200 scholarly articles. She has received several prizes, including for the 2015 Adisheshaiah Award for distinguished contributions to the social sciences in India; the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Research Prize for 2011; the NordSud Prize for Social Sciences 2010, Italy. She has advised governments in India and other countries, including as Chairperson of the Andhra Pradesh Commission on Farmers’ Welfare in 2004, and Member of the National Knowledge Commission of India (2005-09). She was the Executive Secretary of International Development Economics Associates (, an international network of heterodox development economists, from 2002 to 2021. She has consulted for international organisations including ILO, UNDP, UNCTAD, UN-DESA, UNRISD and UN Women and is member of several international boards and commissions, including the UN High Level Advisory Board on Economic and Social Affairs, the Commission on Global Economic Transformation of INET, the International Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT). In 2021 she was appointed to the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All, chaired by Mariana Mazzucato. She writes regularly for popular media like newspapers, journals and blogs.



California Spotlight

The Social and Economic Impacts of Wildfires

Part of the Matrix California Spotlight Series.

Wildfires have grown dramatically over the last five years, both as a result of a century of fire suppression as well as contemporary climate change, which makes fires hotter and more destructive. Recorded on April 4, 2022, this panel focused on the contemporary social and economic impacts of wildfires in California during another record-breaking fire season. How have fires changed during the last five years, and with what impacts on the economy? How might policy-makers and economists respond to the changing fire season?

The panel was co-sponsored by the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (CLEE) and presented as part of the Social Science Matrix California Spotlight series.

Listen to this panel as a podcast below or on Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts.


Dave JonesDave Jones is the Director of the Climate Risk Initiative at UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center on Law, Energy and Environment (CLEE).  He is also a Distinguished Fellow with the ClimateWorks Foundation. Jones is a candidate for the California State Senate. He was Senior Director for Environmental Risk at The Nature Conservancy from January 2019 – June 2021, and served as California’s Insurance Commissioner from 2011 through 2018 and regulated the largest insurance market in the United States.  He founded and chaired the Sustainable Insurance Forum (SIF), an international network of insurance regulators developing climate risk regulatory best practices. Jones was the first US financial regulator to require disclosure of investments in fossil fuel assets due to concerns about climate change related transition risk, the first to call for divesting investments in thermal coal, and the first to conduct climate risk scenario analysis of insurers’ investment portfolios. Jones is a graduate of DePauw University and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Master’s in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.


Luiz OliveiraLuiz Oliveira is a Senior Associate Economist in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which he joined in 2018. His expertise focuses on applied economic policy, developed over his career as a member of several macroeconomic policy and analysis teams at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and the Federal Reserve System. Luiz’s research focus includes macroeconomic forecasting, inflation, and climate risks.


Bruce RiordanSteve Pyne is an urban farmer and emeritus professor at Arizona State University.  He is best known for his work on the history of fire and humanity, most recently his book The Pyrocene: How We Created an Age of Fire, and What Happens Next. He has published 35 books, most of them dealing with fire, but others on Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, the Voyager mission, and with his oldest daughter, an inquiry into the Pleistocene. His fire histories include surveys of America, Australia, Canada, Europe (including Russia), and the Earth.


PyneBruce Riordan (moderator) is the Director of the Berkeley Climate Change Network, a collaborative of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley Lab researchers working on top climate issues. Previously, Mr. Riordan was the Director of the Bay Area Climate Adaptation Network (BayCAN) and the Coordinator of the Climate Readiness Institute. He has been working on climate change solutions for the Bay Area and California for nearly 20 years.

Matrix On Point

Matrix on Point: The War in Ukraine and Its Consequences

Watch below or on YouTube.

In the last three weeks, Russia’s political ambitions in Ukraine have escalated into a full-fledged invasion and war. As politicians attempt to negotiate a ceasefire, thousands of soldiers and hundreds of civilians have likely been killed, and more than two million people have fled the country into neighboring Poland, Hungary, Romania, and other countries. The conflict has upended international relations, raised questions about the dependence of the United States and Europe on Russian fossil fuels, and strained infrastructures of refugee assistance and resettlement. How does the war change what we thought we knew about geopolitics, international macroeconomics, the European refugee crisis, and the conduct of modern warfare?

In this Matrix on Point event, co-sponsored by the Institute of International Studies, a panel of UC Berkeley scholars discussed the Ukraine-Russia War conflict and its implications. Panelists included John Connelly, the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor in the Department of History; Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Quantedge Presidential Professor in the Department of Economics; Gérard Roland, the E. Morris Cox Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science; and Katerina Linos, the Irving G. and Eleanor D. Tragen Professor of Law. Daniel Sargent Associate Professor of History at UC Berkeley, moderated.

Listen to this event as a podcast


Yuriy Gorodnichenko, a native of Ukraine, is a Quantedge Presidential professor in the Department of Economics at U.C. Berkeley. A significant part of his research has been about monetary policy (effects, optimal design, inflation targeting), fiscal policy (countercyclical policy, government spending multipliers), taxation (tax evasion, inequality), economic growth (long-run determinants, globalization, innovation, financial frictions), and business cycles.  Yuriy serves on many editorial boards, including Journal of Monetary Economics and VoxUkraine. Yuriy is a prolific researcher, with works published in leading economics journals and cited in policy discussions and media. Yuriy has received numerous awards for his research.

Gérard Roland is the E. Morris Cox professor of economics and professor of political science at U.C. Berkeley where he has been since 2001. He has received many honors including an honorary professorship from the Renmin University of China in Beijing in 2002 and the medal “De Scientia et humanitate optime meritis” by the Czech Academy of Sciences in 2018. The Association for Comparative Economic Studies created an annual dissertation fellowship in his name to recognize his contributions to the field. He is the author of over 150 journal articles, chapters in books, and books and has been published in leading economics journals on topics of transition, political economy, culture and comparative economics. He wrote the leading graduate textbook Transition and Economics published in 2000 and translated in various languages, including Chinese and Russian. In recent years, his research has broadened to developing economies in general with special emphasis on the role of institutions and culture.

John Connelly is the Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor in the Department of History at U.C. Berkeley and the director of the Institute for East European, Eurasian, and Slavic Studies. His scholarship focuses on the history of East and Central Europe, with special concern for problems of religious and ethnic identity in multinational space. He has published Captive University: The Sovietization of East German, Czech and Polish Higher EducationFrom Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, and From Peoples Into Nations: A History of Eastern Europe, and is at work on a history of democracy in Europe, 1076 to present.

Katerina Linos is the Irving G. and Eleanor D. Tragen Professor of Law at UC Berkeley, where she also serves as Co-Faculty Director of the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law. Her research interests include international law, comparative law, European Union law, and migration law. To address questions in these fields, her work combines legal analysis with empirical methods. In 2017, Linos was awarded a Carnegie fellowship to study the European refugee crisis. She investigated how communication barriers frustrate fundamental rights, explored the potential of new technologies to facilitate refugee and migrant integration, and developed digital refuge. Linos’ research appears in leading law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of International Law, the American Journal of Political Science, the American Political Science Review, the California Law Review, and many others.

Daniel SargentDaniel J. Sargent (moderator) is Associate Professor at UC Berkeley, where he holds faculty appointments in the Department of History and the Goldman School of Public Policy, and he serves as co-director of the Institute of International Studies. He is the author of A Superpower Transformed: The Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s (Oxford University Press, 2015) and a co-editor of The Shock of the Global: The 1970s in Perspective (Harvard University Press, 2010). He is writing an interpretive history of the postwar international order, titled Pax Americana: The Rise and Fall of the American World Order.