Paula D. McClain

Duke University, APSA past president

Task Force Convener

Niambi Carter

 Howard University

Graduate Student Training and Experiences Working Group

Cathy J. Cohen

University of Chicago

Tenure and Promotion Working Group

John A. Garcia


Citation Working Group

Carol A. Mershon

University of Virginia

Climate and Context Working Group

About the Task Force 

In 2020, former APSA President Paula D. McClain appointed a Task Force on Examining Issues and Mechanisms of Systemic Inequality in the Discipline. The task force addresses the many issues of concern for marginalized members of our discipline, such as racial and ethnic minority scholars, women of all races and ethnicities, LGBTQ scholars. This task force report, which was presented to the APSA Council during its 2021 Fall Council Meeting, addresses questions of how systemic systems of inequality that have manifest overtime in the discipline affect the career trajectories and experiences, within the broad contours of the discipline, of scholars pushed to margins of the discipline. The full report was published in January 2022.

The task force report features data and analysis that sheds light on how marginalized members of our discipline experience their scholarly lives in the profession, at annual and regional meetings, and in their home departments. The report provides a series of recommendations, particularly for APSA and for departments of political science across the country, to identify and remove the systemic inequalities that negatively impact scholars in the profession. The ultimate goal is to develop a set of best practices that will bring about change in those inequalities and move the discipline in a more equitable, open and accepting direction. The task force has held panels and webinars to share their recommendations. The webinar recordings and other resources are available on this website.  Read the executive summary and Dr. McClain’s introduction, the recommendations, and the chapters below. 

Chapter 1

Promotions to Associate and Full Professor: Structurally Marginalized Faculty and the Pyramid Problem

Chapter 2

Citations and Inequities

Chapter 3

Climate and Context

Chapter 4

Graduate Training and Graduate Student Experiences

Resource Page

APSA would like to acknowledge the support of the ASAE Research Foundation, Truist Foundation (formerly SunTrust Foundation), Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP, and Atlanta CVB.