Paula D. McClain is a professor of political science and public policy and Dean of The Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education.
She moved to Duke from the University of Virginia in 2000 and became Dean of The Graduate School 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, including the Journal of Politics, American Political Science Review, Urban Affairs Review, and The Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. 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. 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 2013. The first edition in 1995 won the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America Award for Outstanding Scholarship on the Subject of Intolerance, 1996. American Government in Black and White, 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 2nd edition of the book was published by Oxford University Press in July 2013, and Oxford will publish the 2014 election update in early 2015.
She is president-elect of the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA), a past president of the Southern Political Science Association (SPSA), a past president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, a past vice president of the American Political Science Association (APSA), has served as Program Co-Chair for meetings of the APSA, the MPSA, and the International Political Science Association World Congress held in Durban, South Africa. She also served on the Advisory Committee of the Directorate of the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation, and served on the Board of Overseers for the American National Election Study for both the 2008 and 2012 elections. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Duke University Blue Ribbon Diversity Award (2012), the Graduate School Mentoring Award (2010), the American Political Science Association’s Frank J. Goodnow Award for contributions to the profession of political science (2007), and a Meta Mentoring Award from the Women’s Caucus for Political Science of the American Political Science Association (2007). She was recently notified that she is the recipient of the biennially awarded Mannie Dauer Award from the Southern Political Association for exceptional service to the profession that will be given in 2015. McClain is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, having been elected in 2014.
- American Government in Black and White. 2nd edition. Co-authored with Steven C. Tauber. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).
- “Can We All Get Along?” Racial and Ethnic Minorities in American Politics, 6th edition. Co-authored with Joseph Stewart, Jr. (Boulder: Westview Press, 2014).