Rogers M. Smith Named to Endowed Chair at Yale

Yale University political scientist Rogers M. Smith, whose scholarly work has focused on civil rights and liberties, constitutional law, and modern and ancient political theory, has been appointed the Alfred Cowles Professor of Government by vote of the Yale Corporation.

Smith is the director of graduate studies in political science and is codirector of the Center for the Study of Race, Inequality and Politics at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies.

In his published works, Smith has explored such topics as U.S. citizenship, immigration, racial equality and liberalism. His 1997 book, “Civic Ideals: Conflicting Visions of Citizenship in U.S. History,” which was published by the Yale University Press, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. It also won several “best book” prizes, including the Ralph Bunche Award and the J. David Greenstone Prize from the American Political Science Association; the Government and Political Science Award for Excellence in Professional/Scholarly Publishing from the Association of American Publishers; the Merle Curti Intellectual History Award from the Organization of American Historians; and the Allan Sharlin Memorial Award (cowinner) from the Social Science History Association. “Civic Ideals” also was a finalist for the Boston Book Review Rea Non-Fiction Prize.

Smith’s other books are “Citizenship Without Consent: the Illegal Alien in the American Polity,” which he coauthored with Yale Law School professor Peter H. Schuck and which won the SCRIBES Honorable Mention Book Award; and “Liberalism and American Constitutional Law.” His most recent work, “The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Commitments to Racial Equality,” coauthored with Philip A. Klinkner, is forthcoming.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Smith earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Harvard University in 1978 and 1980, respectively. He joined the Yale faculty as an assistant professor in 1980, became an associate professor in 1985 and was promoted as a full professor in 1989. He served as director of undergraduate studies 1986-88 and chaired the Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics 1989-91.

In 1984, Smith was awarded a Yale College Distinguished Teaching Prize. His other honors include the President’s Award from the New England Political Science Association, as well as fellowships from Yale, the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is a member of the editorial boards of Polity, Studies in American Political Development and the American Journal of Political Science.

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