New Political Study Center? Turn Right at Berkeley

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If you’re interested in studying left-wing social movements like organized labor, civil rights or feminism, there are dozens of universities and colleges that have created special programs and research centers devoted to the subject. But hardly any similar institutions exist in academia for those looking for a place to study the right wing in America and abroad.

Now, with backing from an anonymous donor, the University of California, Berkeley, where ’60s-era students stood atop a police car and ignited free-speech protests, is creating a Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements. According to experts in the field it is the first of its kind in higher education.

“This is unique,” said Paola Bacchetta, an associate professor at Berkeley and an editor of the collection “Right-Wing Women: From Conservatives to Extremists Around the World.” “There are no other centers that I know of.”

Scheduled to open in the fall, the new center, which Lawrence Rosenthal will oversee, is affiliated with Berkeley’s Institute for the Study of Social Change. “Part of the motivation is that it is an understudied area,” Mr. Rosenthal said.

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