Professor receives Distinguished Political Scientist Award

By Alex Pologruto | Mar 29, 2023

Dr. James Clinger with Paul Foote

Dr. James Clinger (left), professor of political science, with Dr. Paul Foote, associate professor of political science and president-elect of the Kentucky Political Science Association.


MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State University’s Dr. James Clinger, professor of political science, recently received the Distinguished Political Scientist Award at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Political Science Association (KPSA) on March 3–4 at Western Kentucky University. 

Clinger is the first political science faculty member from Murray State to receive the award since its creation in 1987. The award is given from time to time to a political scientist whose contributions to the discipline and profession are regarded as outstanding and worthy of notice. 

“It has been an honor to work with Jim and he is richly deserving of this recognition,” said Scott Lasley, chair of the Department of Political Science at Western Kentucky University and former KPSA president. “He has been a tireless advocate for the KPSA and instrumental in its success. While giving generously of his time and talents, Jim has earned the respect of his colleagues around the state. It has been a privilege to get to know and work with him over the past twenty years.”

Clinger holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington-Saint Louis. He teaches courses in state and local government, Kentucky politics, intergovernmental relations, public policy analysis, and public budgeting and finance. He is also the director of the Master of Public Administration program at Murray State.

Clinger has published research in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, Public Administration Review, Policy Studies Journal, Public Choice, Urban Studies, Criminal Justice Policy Review, Political Research Quarterly and a number of other journals. He is also the co-author of Institutional Constraint and Policy Choice: An Exploration of Local Governance and co-editor of Kentucky Government, Politics, and Policy. 

Clinger is also a past chair of the Murray-Calloway County Transit Authority Board and a former member of the Ethics Board for the City of Murray. He is a past president of the Kentucky Political Science Association and a former trustee of the Falmouth, Kentucky Volunteer Firefighter Association. In addition, he  has served on the executive council of the Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations of the American Political Science Association, as well as the editorial board of the Commonwealth Review of Political Science.

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