Question of the Month

Neoliberalism and black politics?

Has neoliberal ideology among black elites narrowed our conceptions of what’s possible in black politics as well as our focus on means to electoral politics & lobbying? If so, is this a good or bad development for blacks’ quest for social justice?

Latest Posts

Live webcast with Michael Dawson
November 2, 2011

Ask UChicago with Professor Michael Dawson at 11am on Wednesday, November 2!

He's Black.
September 8, 2011

Is Obama Black, Bi-racial, or Post-racial? Michael answers in a Zócalo Public Square chat.

Severe Hardship, Dashed Hopes
July 27, 2011

We are entering a period when for blacks there is a dangerous and growing confluence of severe economic hardship and dashed hopes.

About Michael C. Dawson

Michael C. Dawson is the John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago, as well as the founding and current Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the university. He has also taught at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. Dawson received his BA with High Honors from Berkeley in 1982 and doctorate degree from Harvard University in 1986. Professor Dawson was co-principal investigator of the 1988 National Black Election Study and principal investigator with Ronald Brown of the 1993-1994 National Black Politics Study.

In collaboration with a number of colleagues, Dawson has directed or co-directed a series of survey studies from 2000-2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010 that have probed racial attitudes in the United States. His research interests have included the development of quantitative models of African American political behavior, identity, and public opinion; the political effects of urban poverty, African-American political ideology, and democratic theory.

His newest book, Not In Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics, will be published in the fall of 2011 by the University of Chicago Press. His previous two books, Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics (Princeton 1994) and Black Visions: The Roots of Contemporary African-American Political Ideologies (Chicago 2001), won multiple awards including Black Visions winning the prestigious Ralph Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association. Dawson has also published numerous journal articles, book chapters and opinion pieces. Dawson’s strong interest in the impact of the information technology revolution on society and politics, as well as his research on race are both fueled in part from his time spent as an activist while studying and working in Silicon Valley for several years. Forthcoming are several books including Blacks In and Out of the Left: Past, Present and Future, and Reflections On Black Politics in the Early 21st Century.

He is, with Lawrence Bobo, the founding co-editor of the journal The Du Bois Review (Cambridge University Press). Dawson has also served as Chair of the Political Science Department of the University of Chicago. In 2006 Dawson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dawson has been a Fellow at both the Rockefeller Bellagio Center and the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Dawson has been interviewed extensively by the print and broadcast media including the Washington Post, The Economist Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NPR, BBC, CNN, National Geographic, CBC, BET, and ABC News.

Curriculum Vitae