CRWS Research

The Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies (CRWS) is dedicated to supporting new scholarship on the Right in the United States, Europe, Latin America and other regions of the world over the past hundred years. The Center is especially interested in supporting research that examines the diversity of right-wing movements and their respective emphasis on social and religious issues, nationalism and race, and economic doctrines.

In recent decades, new disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields of study, including women's studies and ethnic studies, have emerged in order to properly examine the issues these social movements brought to the fore. A proliferation of right-wing movements nationally and around the globe since the end of the Cold War suggests the need for academic study of the Right. To properly differentiate newer and older elements of current right-wing movements, this study must be done in historical context. This study must also distinguish past and present movements from one another, determining the key consistencies that justify identifying these groups as the collective entity of ‘the Right.' Using these methods we can better understand the future directions the Right might take.

The Center encourages and nurtures research by publishing research findings, organizing working groups for faculty and graduate students, offering mini-grants to support undergraduate and graduate student research, providing fellowships and training opportunities to Berkeley students, and planning conferences, colloquia, and other public events that bring together leading scholars to engage in comparative and interdisciplinary dialogue on right-wing ideology, politics, and organizational forms and their likely directions in the 21st century.

The Center is committed to an ethic of interdisciplinary, inter-generational, and inclusive research. Faculty join with graduate and undergraduate students to examine the theories, policies and practices of right-wing movements, and researchers draw on a wide range of scholarly perspectives and methods. 

Right-Wing Studies Virtual Working Group

The Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies Virtual Working Group is an interdisciplinary group of graduate students, visiting scholars, postdocs, and faculty who are engaged in research on right-wing movements, thought and/or practices in the U.S. and other countries and regions of the world. The working group meets approximately every other week during the U.S. academic year and is open to academics from around the world who share an interest in the Right. 
Members of the working group exchange academic works-in-progress, discuss selected readings, and engage in interdisciplinary dialogue about their research projects and scholarship on the Right. 

To join the Right-Wing Studies Virtual Working Group list, email and please include a copy of your cv.

Current and Recently Completed Research Projects

“Francis Shuckhardt, the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, and Traditional Catholicism” - Dr. Larry Rosenthal, CRWS, and Katherine Booska, UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprentice

In 1967, Bishop Francis Shuckhardt founded the Congregation of Mary Immaculate, a traditional Catholic center, which now includes a priesthood, parish school, convent, and church. Adherents of the traditional Latin mass, the Congregation has been important to the development of the traditional Catholic movement in the United States. During the early 1980s, Bishop Shuckhardt made a tour of New Zealand, preaching about the problem of the Second Vatican Council and the promise of a return to ancient Catholic ritual. A collection of Shuckhardt’s papers, publications, and newspaper articles concerning his time in New Zealand has been donated to CRWS and is being processed for further analysis.

"Bob Grant, Conservative Talk Radio Host" - Dr. Larry Rosenthal, CRWS, and Katherine Booska, UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprentice

Bob Grant was one of the early conservative media architects, active from the mid-20th century through the early 2000's. Many view him as partially responsible for the misogynistic, homophobic, and racist beliefs that are pervasive in right-wing media and politics today. A collection of his writings, AV recordings, photos, and more was donated to the Center for Right-Wing Studies and is being inventoried for further analysis.

"Racism, Classism, and Sexism in the Military: The Life of Brigadier General Robert Travis in Social Context" - Dr. Deborah Lustig and Dr. Larry Rosenthal, CRWS, and Skylar De Paul, UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprentice

Brigadier General Robert Travis was an American military officer; Travis Air Force Base was named after him. His World War II diary (he was stationed in England) and a family history provide an opportunity to analyze his life and work in the broader social context and to reassess that life in our social context.

"FBI FOIA Digitization Project" - Dr. Christine Trost, (former) Academic Coordinator, CRWS, and Hollis Potts, UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprentice

This project involves digitizing an extensive collection of materials released by the FBI in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. This unique and rare collection concerns radical right-wing groups and individuals that the FBI was monitoring. The material includes memos, reports and correspondence, along with newsletters, pamphlets, and booklets. The project is a collaboration between CRWS, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Internet Archive. The materials were collected by Ernie Lazar over the course of more than three decades. Scans of the documents, along with a finding aid, are now available for scholars to access.

"From the Tea Party to the Alt-Right: Illiberalism Comes to America" - Dr. Lawrence Rosenthal, Chair and Lead Researcher, Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies

This is a study of the transformation of the American right wing during the Obama years. Donald Trump won the Republican nomination and the presidency by moving U.S. right-wing populism from the free market extremism of the Tea Party to  "America-first" nationalism, an ideological migration the study examines in depth. The analysis deals with the approach-avoidance of the conservative movement and the Republican party toward the Trump phenomenon, the identity politics of the right, Trump's mobilization of the fringe white nationalism of the Alt-Right, and the resonance of the Trump movement with global illiberal zeitgeist.

"Mobilizing the Right: Rare Audio and Visual Recordings Used for Recruitment and Mobilization in the 1960s" - Dr. Christine Trost, (former) Academic Coordinator, CRWS, and Kelly Jones, UC Berkeley Undergraduate Research Apprentice

CRWS was given rare audio and visual recordings used by the John Birch Society to recruit and mobilize individuals in the 1960s.  Some of the materials have been transferred from their original format (3x3” audio tapes, 5x5” audio tapes, 7x7” audio tapes, 14x14” film) to CDs and DVDs. They include recordings of workshops, lectures, films, spot ads, and other educational materials used by the John Birch Society to promote right-wing causes in the 1960s. The project involved listening to/viewing these materials, summarizing their content and key themes, extracting other relevant descriptive information (time, place, speakers, etc.), and developing a finding aid that is available to scholars around the world. Read more about the collection and how to access it.