Paula D. McClain is James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Professor of Public Policy and Dean of The Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education, having moved to Duke from the University of Virginia in 2000. She became Dean on July 1, 2012. 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 sixth edition of her book, “Can We All Get Along?" Racial and Ethnic Minorities in American Politics, coauthored with Joseph Stewart, Jr. in 2014. The 7th edition with a new coauthor, Jessica D. Johnson Carew was published in June 2017. 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 5th edition of the book is scheduled for publication in early 2021.
She is president of the American Political Science Association, past president of the Midwest Political Science Association, past president of the Southern Political Science Association and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, is a past vice president of the American Political Science Association, served as Program Co-Chair for the 1993 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, served as Program Chair for the 1999 annual meeting of Midwest Political Science Association, served as Vice President of the Midwest Political Science Association, served as Vice President and 2002 Program Chair of the Southern Political Science Association, and served as a Vice President and Program Co-Chair of the 2003 International Political Science Association World Congress which was held in Durban, South Africa in July 2003. She is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Duke University Blue Ribbon Diversity Award (2012), the Graduate School Mentoring Award (2010), the Frank J. Goodnow Award for contributions to the profession of political science (2007), a Meta Mentoring Award from the Women’s Caucus for Political Science of the American Political Science Association (2007), the Manning Dauer Award from the Southern Political Science Association (2015), and 2017 Midwest Women’s Caucus of Political Science (MWCPS) Outstanding Professional Achievement award. In 2014, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Publications include:
- American Government in Black and White. 4th edition. Co-authored with Steven C. Tauber. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).
- “Can We All Get Along?” Racial and Ethnic Minorities in American Politics, 7th edition. Co-authored with Jessica Johnson Carew. (Boulder: Westview Press, 2017).