Paula D. McClain

Duke University
Political scientist; Public policy scholar; Educator; Academic administrator
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Political Science

Paula D. McClain is James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Professor of Public Policy. From July 1, 2012 to September 15, 2022 she was Dean of The Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education. She moved to Duke from the University of Virginia in 2000. She also directs the American Political Science Association’s Ralph Bunche Summer Institute hosted by Duke University, and funded by the National Science Foundation and Duke University. A Howard University Ph.D., her primary research interests are in racial minority group politics, particularly inter-minority political and social competition, and urban politics. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, most recently the Journal of Politics, American Political Science Review, Urban Affairs Review, The Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race and Politics, Groups and Identities, among others. Westview Press published the seventh edition of her book, “Can We All Get Along?" Racial and Ethnic Minorities in American Politics, with a new coauthor, Jessica D. Johnson Carew in June 2017. The 8th edition will be published in mid-2025. Her 1990 book, Race, Place and Risk: Black Homicide in Urban America, co-authored with Harold W. Rose, won the National Conference of Black Political Scientists' 1995 Best Book Award for a previously published book that has made a substantial and continuing contribution. American Government in Black and White: Diversity and Democracy, co-authored with Steven Tauber, won the American Political Science Association’s Race, Ethnicity and Politics Organized Section Best Book Award for a book published in 2010. The 7th edition will be published in early 2025. She is past president of the American Political Science Association, past president of the Midwest Political Science Association, and past president of both the Southern Political Science Association and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences having been elected in 2014.

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