Klinkner received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is an expert on American politics, including parties and elections, race relations, Congress and the Presidency. He has been a professor at Hamilton since 1995 and is the former director of the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center. Klinkner has written extensively on a variety of topics related to American politics. His books include The Losing Parties: Out-Party National Committees, 1956-1993 (Yale University Press, 1994) and Midterm: The 1994 Elections in Perspective (Westview Press, 1996). Most recently, he co-authored The Unsteady March: The Rise and Decline of America's Commitment to Racial Equality (University of Chicago Press, 1999), which received the 2000 Horace Mann Bond Book Award from Harvard University’s Afro-American Studies Department and W.E.B DuBois Institute.