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 PoliticsUrban Politics Detroit PoliticsPolitical 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 2004-2016 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.

I am currently involved in a collaborative team effort in collecting Detroit area and national data on COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protest.   The online interviewing  cross-sectional survey dates are October 2020 to November 2, 2020, and Januray 2021.    

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.

Another developing research topic explores citizen engagement and dialgoue among Detroit voters. 



  • 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, Davin Phoenix, and James S. Jackson, “Turning the Wheels: Striving and Black American Social Identity in the 21st Century”, National Political Science Review, A Publication of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, Volume 20.2, pp.129-148. 2019.

 R. Khari Brown, Edward Eschler, Ronald E. Brown, "Political Congregations, Race, & Environmental Policy Attitudes," Manuscript ID JSSR-OA-08-2019-179, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, (Accepted for publication, August 2020).

R. Khari Brown, Ronald E. Brown, Angela Kaiser, Race, Religious Tradition, and Environmental Conservation, Race, Religious Tradition, and Environmental Conservation, Sociology of Religion, sraa028,, September 22, 2020.

R. Khari Brown, Ronald Brown, and James S. Jackson, Race, Religion and  Politics in America, University of Michigan Press, forthcoming, 2021. 














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,  Winter Break, 2020, Travel Abroad to Toronto, cancelled because of panademic, Winter 2020  

3. Graduate: Independent Readings and Directed Studies

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


Incremental coursework


Citation index

  •  My total citation count from Google Scholar is 810.