Paul Frymer

Associate Professor
Department of Politics
Princeton University

I write and teach on topics in American politics, institutions, law, and American political development, particularly as they intersect with issues of democratic representation, race and civil rights, and labor and employment rights. In 2010, my book, Uneasy Alliances: Race and Party Competition was re-issued by Princeton University Press with an afterward on the significance of the Obama election. In 2008, I published Black and Blue: African Americans, the Labor Movement, and the Decline of the Democratic Party, also with Princeton University Press.

In 2009-2010, and again in 2013-2014, I was the Acting Director of the Law and Public Affairs Program here at Princeton. I’m also affiliated with Princeton’s American Studies Program and the Center for African American Studies. I graduated from high school in San Jose, California, went to college and law school at the University of California at Berkeley, and received a PhD in political science from Yale University.


I’m currently working to complete a book-length manuscript on the politics and historical beginnings of American expansion and empire. I’ve published some initial pieces of the project, with links below.


Black and Blue: African Americans, the Labor Movement, and the Decline of the Democratic Party (Princeton University Press, 2008)

        --winner, best book award, Race and Ethnic Politics section of the

        American Political Science Association

Uneasy Alliances: Race and Party Competition in America (Princeton University Press, 2010, with an afterword on President Obama)


“‘A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours’: Territorial Expansion, Land Policy, and U.S. State Formation,” Perspectives on Politics 12 (Spring 2014)

“Building an American Empire: Territorial Expansion in the Antebellum Era,” UC Irvine Law Review 1:913 (Fall 2011)

“Labor and American Politics,” Perspectives on Politics 8:609 (Summer 2010)

“Law and American Political Development,” Law and Social Inquiry 33: 779-803 (Summer 2008)

“New Orleans is not the Exception,” Du Bois Review 3: 37-57 (2006)(with Dara Strolovitch and Dorian Warren)

“Racism Revised: Courts, Labor Law, and the institutional construction of racial animus,” American Political Science Review 99:  373-87 (August 2005)

“Race, Parties, and Democratic Inclusion,” in The Politics of Democratic Inclusion (2005)

“The Rise of Instrumental Affirmative Action: Law and the New Significance Of Race In America,” Connecticut Law Review 36: 677-723 (Spring 2004) (with John Skrentny)

“Acting When Elected Officials Won’t: Federal Courts and Civil Rights Enforcement in US Labor Unions, 1935-85,” American Political Science Review 97: 483-99 (August 2003)

            --winner of the Law and Society Association best article award

            --winner of the McGraw Hill Best Article Award by the American Political Science 


            --winner of the Mary Parker Follett Best Article Award by the American Political Science



Review of Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson, The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism, New Labor Forum

“Whatever Became of the Raucous Caucus,” The American Interest (Sept/Oct 2012)

“What NBA Stars and Occupy Wall Street Protestors Have in Common,” Washington Post (October 28, 2011), (with Dorian T. Warren)

Review of Terry Moe, Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools

Review of Richard H. Pildes, “Why the Center Does Not Hold”

Review of James Flynn, Where Have All the Liberals Gone?

Review of Nelson Lichtenstein, State of the Union


Courses in 2014-2015                                           

American Politics [u]

Law and Work [u]

American Constitutional Development [g]

Previous Courses

Law and Society [u]                                       

American Political Development [g]                

Race and the Law [g]

American Political Institutions [g]