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Department of American Studies College of Arts and Sciences

Lauren Morris MacLean « Committee on NAIS

Picture of Lauren Morris MacLean

Associate Professor of Political Science

Office: 404 Woodburn Hall
Phone: 856-2376
E-mail: macleanl at


My research interests focus on the politics of state formation, social welfare, and citizenship in Africa and in American Indian/Alaska Native communities in the United States. I earned my Ph.D. in 2002 from the Department of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. After completing a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan (2002-2004), I joined the IU Bloomington faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. Funding from the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright-Hays DDRA, the Institute for the Study of World Politics, IU’s Workshop on Political Theory and Policy Analysis, IU’s Center on Philanthropy, the Lilly Foundation, and UC-Berkeley’s African Studies Center has supported my research, which been published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, the International Journal of Public Administration, the Journal of Modern African Studies and Studies in Comparative International Development. In addition to revising a book manuscript entitled Transformations: State Legacies, the Informal Institutions of Reciprocity, and Citizenship in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. I’m also collecting and analyzing data for a second book project tentatively titled Constructing Democracy in America: Tribal-State Consultation in Indian Health Policymaking. My research combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including original survey research, in-depth interviews, oral histories, archival research, focus groups, policy research, as well as ethnographic and participant observation. Every 2-3 years I teach a graduate seminar on Indigenous Politics and Citizenship and hope, in the future, to offer an upper-level undergraduate course called “American Indian Politics.”

Relevant Courses

  • Y657 Indigenous Politics and Citizenship

Selected Recent Publications

Forthcoming in 2009. Review of The Moral Force of Indigenous Politics, by Courtney Jung, and Struggles of Voice: The Politics of Indigenous Representation in the Andes, by Jose Lucero. In Perspectives on Politics.

2007. The Micro-Dynamics of Welfare State Retrenchment and the Implications for Citizenship in Africa. Afrobarometer Working Paper No, 73, September 2007.

2006. The Power of Human Subjects and the Politics of Informed Consent. In Symposium entitled “Field Research: How Thick? How Rich? How Participatory?” Qualitative Methods newsletter, Winter 2006.