Meet 2017 Carnegie Fellow Lauren M. MacLean

The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program recognizes an exceptional group of both established and emerging scholars, journalists, and authors with the goal of strengthening U.S. democracy, driving technological and cultural creativity, exploring global connections and global ruptures, and improving both natural and human environments. 

Lauren M. MacLean (PhD University of California-Berkeley, 2002) is the Arthur F. Bentley Chair and Professor of Political Science at Indiana University at Bloomington. She is an affiliate faculty member of IU’s Workshop of Political Theory and Policy Analysis, the African Studies Program, the Committee on Native American and Indigenous Studies, and the Center on Philanthropy. Her research interests are comparative political economy and public policy, with a focus on the politics of state formation, public goods provision, and citizenship in Africa and the U.S.

 As a Carnegie Fellow, I plan to investigate how electricity provision enhances democracy and environmental sustainability in Ghana.”

How will the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program impact your research and overall career?

MacLean: The Carnegie Fellows program will provide me with the time to dedicate to this new book project. As a Carnegie Fellow, I plan to investigate how electricity provision enhances democracy and environmental sustainability in Ghana.

What research topics do you primarily focus on? How can people access your work?

MacLean: Generally, I work on the political economy of development with field research in Africa and with Native American communities in the US. I look at the history of state-building and how it shapes the everyday practices of citizenship. I am particularly interested in social welfare policy in health and education and now energy policy, particularly the prospect for renewable energy technologies. My work is published in books and articles but with the support of the Carnegie I hope to make more of the work available in policy briefs and blogposts.

Do you have any advice for students in political science, including tips on how to find funding and support for research projects?

MacLean: My advice is to look broadly and think creatively about not just landing the big grants but the possibility of putting together several smaller grants. I think conference participation is also an important way of meeting colleagues and developing a community of scholars who share mutual interests and will be invaluable sources of information about potential grants in your area.