Clarence N. Stone was born in Chester. SC into a blue-collar family.  He grew up in the piedmont region of the Carolinas, and received his undergraduate education at the University of South Carolina and graduate education at Duke University. 

In addition to a formal education in political science Clarence acquired an informal education in politics, especially in race and politics.  This informal education contains several significant steps, beginning with  his coming of age in a rapidly changing South.  His father was a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Workers, and his mother was a grassroots activist in state and local politics.  During Clarence’s student days in Durham, the Greensboro sit-ins occurred 50 or so miles from the Duke campus.  As the movement spread, it quickly encompassed Durham, and Clarence and his wife became active in the city’s protests.   Durham was a southern location, noteworthy for the fact that it was governed through a biracial and progressive-minded coalition, including city councilmember Robert Rankin, who was also chair of Duke’s Political Science Department.  After an initial time as a consultant to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, native Tennesean Rankin was named a member of the Commission.  Bob Rankin thus brought far-ranging experience to his mentorship of Clarence and many others.

As a member of the Emory faculty during the eventful years of 1963-68, Clarence’s exposure to the changing racial politics of the South was further enhanced by his Atlanta residence.  It was then that he began his research on (and occasional engagement with) Atlanta’s biracial coalition).  The 1960s also saw Clarence as holder of a Congressional Fellowship, working for the initial period in the office of Representative William Widnall (R, NJ) and a second period in the office of Senator Walter Fritz Mondale.  A special high point in Clarence’s career later, adding a new dimension to his education in race and politics, was Ford Foundation sponsorship to attend an International  Conference on Local and Regional Government, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, just as the transition in power in that country was in its final negotiations.

Details about Clarence’s publications and related professional matters are contained in his c.v., attached.  They include four book awards and a Career Achievement Award by the Urban Politics Section of the American Political Science Association and from the Urban Affairs Association a Contribution to the Field of Urban Affairs Award, 2014 (the inaugural recipient).

Clarence retired from the University of Maryland in 2001, and spent 2001-2002 as a Visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Southern Denmark.  Upon returning to the U.S., he accepted his current position as a Research Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at George Washington University.  He continues to teach and write in the areas of city politics and urban policy.  At this writing his most recent book, a co-authored Urban Neighborhoods in a New Era: Revitalization Politics in the Postindustrial City, is in production with the University of Chicago Press, due out in summer of 2015.  Two of the book’s co-authors, Robert Stoker of George Washington University and Donn Worgs of Towson University, are alumni of the University of Maryland’s Department of Government and Politics.

Areas of Interest

  • city politics, urban school reform, power, and American political development


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Duke University, Political Science

After some early work on the U.S. Congress, my research has fallen largely in the fields of urban politics and public policy.  Specific topics have included power, leadership, civic capacity, education reform, and the changing politics of cities.  As developed in Regime Politics, my contribution to the literature on power and leadership centers on a social-production model of power, "power to," in contrast with a social-control model, "power over."  In the governance of cities I find that, while forms of power intersect and overlap, the power struggle is more usefully seen as about gaining and forging a capacity to act than about the conventional terms of control and resistance.  My current work makes special use of cross-time comparison, particularly the contrast between an earler period of redevelopment politics with a current postindustrial time in which education and human capital have assumed increased importance.

  • Editorial board of Urban Affairs Review
UM Globe
cnstone [at]