Michael Dawson, one of the nation's leading experts on race and politics, was the founding director of the University's Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, and a principal investigator on several important studies of black politics. From 2000-04 Dawson and Lawrence Bobo conducted six public opinion studies on the racial divide in the United States, creating the richest data on this issue that exists. His research interests have included the development of quantitative models of African American political behavior and public opinion, the political effects of urban poverty and African American political ideology. Most recently he is the author of Not in Our Lifetimes: The Future of Black Politics, which looks at political opinions among blacks in the last decade and contrasts them with white attitudes. His other books include Black Visions: The Roots of Contemporary African-American Political Ideologies and Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics.