Political Science Now

Michael Dawson– 2017 Hanes Walton Award Recipient

The Hanes Walton, Jr. Career Award is named in honor of Dr. Hanes Walton Jr., former APSA Vice President (2012-13) and professor of political science at the University of Michigan. Given biennially, this award recognizes a political scientist whose lifetime of distinguished scholarship has made significant contributions to our understanding of racial and ethnic politics and illuminates the conditions under which diversity and intergroup tolerance thrive in democratic societies.

Hanes Walton, Jr. attended and majored in political science at Morehouse College in 1963. He received an MA at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) and was the first PhD in government at Howard University in 1967. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha and received several other academic awards and was a life member of APSA.

He was initially employed at Savannah State College, later at Atlanta University and then at University of Michigan. And while at State and Michigan, he researched and published in the areas of race and politics, African politics, regulatory politics, political parties, elections, and political theory.

Out of his research, writing, and publications are books on black politics, Invisible Politics: Black Political Behavior (1985), Political Parties in American Society (2000), Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr (1971), When the Marching Stopped: The Politics of Civil Rights Regulatory Agencies (1988), Presidential Elections, 1789-2008 (2009), and the two volume work, The African American Electorate: A Statistical History (2012). 

Michael C. Dawson is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Dawson received his doctorate degree from Harvard.   He has directed numerous public opinion studies that focus on race and public opinion.  His research interests include black political behavior and public opinion, political economy, and black political ideology.  More recently he has combined his quantitative work with work in political theory.  His first two books, Behind the Mule:  Race and Class in African-American Politics and Black Visions:  The Roots of Contemporary African-American Political Ideologies, won multiple awards.  Recent books include Not In Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics, and Blacks In and Out of the Left.  Recently with Megan Ming Francis Dawson launched a nationwide, multi-university project to study the intersection of race and capitalism.  Recent work from Dawson related to this project includes the 2016 articles in Public Culture (with Francis), and Critical Historical Studies. He is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago.  Dawson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006.

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