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Lucius Barker

Lucius Barker

William Bennett Munro Professor of Political Science, Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana


Lucius J. Barker is the William Bennett Munro Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his B. A. degree from Southern University-Baton Rouge in 1949, and his M.A. and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1950 and 1954 respectively. He served on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 1956-1967, and during that time spent a year as a postdoctoral Liberal Arts Fellow in Law and Political Science at the Harvard Law School in 1964-65. From 1967 to 1969 he was at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he served as a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science and an Executive Assistant to Chancellor Jack W. Peltason.

Professor Barker joined the Stanford faculty in 1990 from Washington University in St. Louis where he served from 1969 to 1990 as the Edna F. Gellhorn Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science, and chair of the department for two terms. During his career he has received several awards for outstanding teaching –at the University of Wisconsin, Washington University-St. Louis, and Stanford. He has also taught at a number of other universities including Southern, Florida A & M, and Indiana University-Bloomington. In 1988-89) he served as Visiting Professor of Government at Harvard.

His major teaching and research interests are in Judicial Politics and Constitutional Law, and African-American Politics. He has written a number of articles and books including co-authorship of two widely used college texts (Civil Liberties and the Constitution, Pearson/Longman, 9th ed., 2011, 845 pp. and African Americans and The Political System, (Prentice -Hall, 4th ed., 1998, 370 pp.) currently in 2011 under revision.

He has also served as the initial editor of the National Political Science Review, the annual journal of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. In November 1999, Professor Barker served as executive director for a major national conference at Stanford University - “African-Americans: Research and Policy Perspectives At The Turn of the Century.”  In addition, :Professor Barker was an active participant/observer/analyst in American politics, including his participation in campaigns of President John F. Kennedy in 1960; and the 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson. His participation and observations in the 1960 Kennedy campaign are described in “A Split Delegation and A Neutral Governor: The Wisconsin Delegation,” published in Paul Tillett, ed. Inside Politics: The National Conventions, 1960, Rutgers, The State University Press, 1962, pp. 222-239.)

A more detailed account of Professor Barker’s role and participation in the Kennedy campaign is given in an unpublished manuscript entitled The Presidential Primary and the Kennedy Nomination: A Case Study of the Wisconsin Presidential Primary, 1960. Barker has also written a book on his election and experiences as a Jesse Jackson delegate from Missouri to the 1984 Democratic National Convention entitled Our Time Has Come: A Delegate’s Diary of Jesse Jackson’s 1984 Presidiential Campaign published by the University of Illinois Press in 1988.

Professor Barker was also an active participant in the 2008/2009 presidential campaign of Barack Obama. He also attended the inauguration in Washington, D. C. of Mr. Obama as the first African- American to hold that high office. This clearly was a landmark historic development in the further inclusion of all persons so as to make America a “more perfect union.”

His other publications include: “The Dynamics of Race and Governance in American Politics,” co-authored with Katherine Tate, published in 2004 by the Ohio State University Press in a volume edited by Edward Mansfield and Richard Sisson, The Evolution of Political Knowledge; and “Political Scientists as Gatekeepers: Overcoming Inequality in Our Own Backyard,” in Perspectives On Politics (Published by the American Political Science Association, Vol. 3 June 2005); and “A Critical Review of American Institutions,” co-authored with Katherine Tate and Kevin Lyles in Wilbur Rich, ed., African American Political Perspectives in Political Science,” (Temple University Press, 2007.)

Professor Barker served as President of the American Political Science Association in 1992-1993, and was only the second African-American to head the APSA, the first African-American so honored was the late Dr. Ralph Bunche. Nobel peace prize winner and former United Nations official, who served as president of the Association in 1954. Professor Barker’s presidential address at the 1993 Annual Meetings : “Limits of Political Strategy: A Systemic View of the African American Experience,” published in the American Political Science Review (Vol.88, March 1994). He has also served as President of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.

In March, 1994 Professor Barker was one of eleven members of the Stanford faculty elected that year to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has also received several honorary Doctor of Laws degrees and similar awards for outstanding professional accomplishments.

Dr. Barker has also served on a number of national boards and professionally related committees, including Visiting Committees to the Departments of Government and Politics at Harvard and Princeton respectively. From 1993-2003 he was a member of the Board of Overseers of TIAA-CREF, the New York based Teachers insurance and retirement association. In addition, he served one year (2001-2002) as the Stanford Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA and Pacific 10 Athletic Conference (PAC 10); and in 2006 he was appointed to the Stanford Athletic Board.

Professor Barker is continuing an active career in research and writing. In addition to the revision of two major college texts mentioned above, he is also engaged in several other projects including a major collaborative research project with Kevin Lyles on Justice Thurgood Marshall: Warrior Within the System accepted for publication (2011) by the Stanford University Press. He also plans to write an autobiography tentatively entitled: From The Bayou to The Bay: A Life of Living and Learning.