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date: 13 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the ways in which scholars of American political development (APD) have encountered the color line through their research, and the strides they have made in bringing race back into the field of political science in general and the study of the state in particular. Three core questions about race and APD are considered: How is race defined? When does race matter? In what direction does race matter? Two approaches relating to race and American politics are discussed: the race relations approach and the racial politics (or minority politics) approach. It then explores five challenges that must be addressed in order to overcome the persistent connections between APD and the discipline’s racial anomalism. It also analyzes the role of race in the establishment of the early American welfare state and concludes by reflecting on the persistence of racial inequality and prospects for APD in the twenty-first century.

Keywords: American political development, color line, political science, state, race, politics, race relations, racial politics, welfare state, racial inequality

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