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 bridges 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 teaches a course each year and helps to 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 manuscript The Radical Imagination of Black Women: Ambtion, Politics and Power is under contract with Oxford University Press.  Her most recent publication Resisting Marginilzation: Black Women's Ambition and Agency published in 2020 received the Anna Julia Cooper Best Paper Award from the Association for the Study of Black Women in Politics.  Dowe's  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.

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


Anna Julia Cooper Best Paper Award,  Association for the Study of Black Women in Politics (2020)

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

 American Political Science Association Centennial Research Grant (2016)


Dowe, Pearl K.  "Resisting Marginilization: Black Women's Political Ambition and Agency"  PS: Political Science and Politics (2020).

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.

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.


Research Interests

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