Ronald Brown

Ronald Brown

Associate Professor


313-993-3435 (fax)

656 West Kirby 2013 Faculty Administration Building

Curriculum vitae

Ronald Brown

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  •  Religion and Politics
    Urban Politics
    Detroit Politics
    Political Dissent
    Race and Politics


An on-going co-authored research project explores the influence that exposure to civic-religious discourse has on the likelihood of endorsement of civil liberties, civil rights, and limits on repressive government policies targeting marginal populations. A consistent finding from the pooled 2004 and 2008 National Politics Study, is that while Blacks are more likely than Whites and Hispanics to hear political sermons, exposure to civic-religious rhetoric among Whites is associated with stronger support for immigration policies, affirmative action, and opposition to racial profiling.

A developing research project investigates the political factors that led the U.S. House of Representatives, Internal Security Committee, 1970-72, to hold hearings about Black Panther chapters across the nation. The Detroit Black Panther Party congressional hearing is closely probed because there are parallels to the House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities hearings held in the city in 1952, targeting black and white dissenters. The central thesis of the project is that fear of black civil disobedience that might destabilize the racial order was a central but not the only institutional decision to target the Panthers. Thinking about “electoral volatility” fear of competitive challengers, or possible defeat at the polls in mid-term elections, motivated congressional members to hold hearings to signal to core voters their support for the existing racial order.


  • Ph.D.

Awards and grants

  •  National Science Foundation, “The National Politics Study,” Co-Principal Investigator, with James Jackson, University of Michigan, (Principal Investigator), Cara J. Wong, University of Illinois, (Co-Principal Investigator), Vincent Hutchings, University of Michigan, (Co-Principal Investigator), July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2007, $375,000

Selected publications

 Ronald E. Brown, R. Khari Brown, and Aaron Blasé, “Religion and Military Policy Attitudes in America”, Review of Religious Research, 2013, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp.573- 595.

R. Khari Brown and Ronald E, Brown, Race, Ethnicity and Partisan Leaning, Review of Religious Research, Review of Religious Research, Vol 57, no. 4. Pp. 469-505, December 2015.

Ronald E. Brown, R. Khari Brown, James S. Jackson, and Davin Phoenix, “Race, Religion and Anti-Poverty Attitudes, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, SR-OA- 08-2014-187.R1, accepted for publication, 2016.

R. Khari Brown, Ronald E. Brown, Race, Religion and Immigration Policy Attitudes,
Race and Social Problems, (RASP-D-16-00026R1), accepted for publication, 2017.

Currently teaching

  •  Wayne State University 

Courses taught

 1. Undergraduate: American Government, American Government for APEX Students, Detroit Politics, Religion and Politics, African American Politics

2. Study Abroad, Honors College and Political Science, African Democracy Project, Ghana, 2012

3. Graduate: Independent Readings and Directed Studies

4. Citizen Detroit, undergraduate student civic engagement with Detroit voters 


Incremental coursework

  •  As a member of the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission, I am assisting commissioners with development of educational materials about the underground railroad in Detroit, 1840-1865. This on-going project seeks to provide educational materials to middle and high school Detroit teachers that align with Michigan’s K-12 Standards for Social Studies.

    As an instructor and community volunteer, with Citizen Detroit, I have participated in a series of deliberative workshops with Detroit voters, 2014-2016 about a host of issues ranging from bankruptcy, the city charter, city services, ballot proposals, and the 2016 presidential election.


Citation index

  •  My total citation count from Google Scholar is 810.