Pearl Dowe

Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science and African American Studies

Dr. Pearl K. Dowe is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Political Science and African American Studies with a joint appointment between the university’s Oxford College and Emory College of Arts and Sciences.  Dowe’s unique joint appointment will bridge Oxford and Emory colleges. With a home base for teaching and scholarship at Oxford, Dowe will liaise to the Department of African American Studies at Emory College, where she will teach a course each year and help expand the curriculum. At Oxford, her courses will have a thematic focus on understanding leadership. Before joining Oxford College, Dowe served as associate professor and department chair in the Political Science Department at the University of Arkansas.

Dowe’s most recent research focuses on African American women’s political ambition and public leadership. Her published writing includes co-authorship of Remaking the Democratic Party: Lyndon B. Johnson as Native-Son Presidential Candidate (University of Michigan Press: 2016) and editorship of African Americans in Georgia: A Reflection of Politics and Policy Reflection in the New South (Mercer University Press, 2010). She has published numerous articles and book chapters that have appeared in the Journal of African American Studies, Political Psychology, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Journal of Black Studies, and Social Science Quarterly.

Dowe has presented widely at professional conferences and given frequent news-media interviews about American political topics. She is a member of several committees for the American Political Science Association, and previously served on the executive council of the Southern Political Science Association and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. She is co-editor of the National Review of Black Politcs and is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy and the Race, Gender & Class Journal.

The University of Arkansas recognized Dowe for her commitments to diversity and students, awarding her the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences’ Nudie E. Williams Diversity Award, the NAACP Faculty of the Year Award, and the University of Arkansas Greek Life's Order of Omega Faculty of the Year Award.

Raised in Georgia, Dowe is a graduate of Savannah State University and holds an MA in political science from Georgia Southern University and a PhD in political science from Howard University. She joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas in 2008. In 2016 she was visiting scholar in residence at Howard University’s Ronald Walters Center for Public Policy.


BS| Savannah State University| 1994

MA| Georgia Southern University| 1996

PhD| Howard University| 2003


Rodney Higgins Best Paper Award, National Conference of Black Political Scientists (2017)

 American Political Science Association Centennial Research Grant (2016)


Mitchell, Josh and Pearl K. Dowe. “Dissecting Perceptions: Exploring the Determinants of Healthcare Refore Preferences," Social Science Quarterly (2018).

Dowe, Pearl K. Ford, Sekou M. Franklin, and Niambi M. Carter. "Policy symmetry and cross-racial linked fate in the early years of the  Obama presidency," Politics, Groups, and Identities (2018): 1-27.

Dowe, Pearl K. Ford, and Sekou Franklin. "In Whom Do We Trust? Racial Trust in the Early Years of Barack Obama’s                                                       Presidency," Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (2016)

Carter, Niambi  M., and Pearl Ford Dowe. “The Racial Exceptionalism of  Barack Obama," Journal of African American Studies (2015): 1-15.

Stewart, Patrick A., and Pearl K. Ford Dowe. “’Obama’s Magic’: Emotional Response to the Facial Displays of the 44th President,” Political Psychology 34, no. 3 (2013): 369-385.

Maxwell, Angie, Pearl K. Ford Dowe, and Todd G. Shields. “The Next Link in the Chain Reaction: Symbolic Racism and Obama’s Religious Affiliation,” Social Science Quarterly 94, no. 2 (2013): 321-343.

Lewis, Angela K., Pearl K. Ford Dowe, and Sekou Franklin. “African Americans and Obama’s Domestic Policy Agenda: A Closer Look at Deracialization, the Federal Stimulus Bill, and the Affordable Health Care Act,” Polity 45, no. 1 (2013): 127-152.

Johnson, Tekla A. Pearl K. Ford Dowe, and Michael Fauntroy.  “One America?  Obama’s Non-Racial State”, Race, Gender and Class  18, no. 3-4 (2011): 135-149.        

Ford, Pearl K., Angie Maxwell, and Todd Shields. “What’s the Matter with Arkansas: Symbolic Racism and 2008 Presidential Candidate  Support,” Presidential Studies Quarterly 40, no. 20 (2010): 286-302.

Ford, Pearl K., Tekla A. Johnson, and Angie Maxwell. “Yes We Can or Yes We Did?: Prospective and Retrospective Change in the Obama Presidency,”  Journal of Black Studies 40, no. 3 (2010): 462-483.

Research Interests

African American Political Behavior, Gender and Politics, African American Political Leadership