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David S. Brown, PhD, dean, Drexel University College of Arts and Sciences and professor of Politics

David S. Brown, PhD

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Politics
Office: MacAlister Hall, suite 4020
3250 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: 215.895.1891

Additional Sites:

Google Scholar


  • PhD, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 1995
  • BA, History, Doane College, Crete, NE; 1984

Curriculum Vitae:

Research Interests:

  • Democracy
  • Economic Development
  • International Political Economy
  • Inequality


David Brown joined Drexel University on September 1, 2022, as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor in the Department of Politics. After receiving his PhD in political science from UCLA, he was named the inaugural Kenneth Boulding Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder. Dean Brown’s first tenure track position was at Rice University. After five years at Rice, he returned to CU Boulder for the next 20 years. At CU Boulder, he served as chair of the Department of Political Science for six years and divisional dean of the Social Sciences for four years.

Dean Brown’s body of work centers on political institutions and their impact on economic development. His scholarship explores democracy and its effect on economic growth and well-being. He recently completed a textbook, “Introduction to Statistics in R: the Art & Practice of Data Analysis.” Other publications include articles on democracy and its significance on homicide rates, the labor supply, and the labor share of income.

Previously, Professor Brown was a member of a National Science Foundation-funded team investigating the influence of a World Bank program on local politics in the Brazilian Amazon. This research effort generated several articles. His related expertise uses spatial statistical analysis to study patterns of worldwide democratization and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

An essential focus of his early research involved investigating the influence democracy has on government spending. In particular, the emphasis of this work examined democracy’s impact on the resources allocated to health, education, and welfare.

Brown’s teaching includes comparative politics, the political economy of development, and statistics. In addition, he is a frequent guest lecturer on active learning pedagogies concentrated explicitly on ‘flipping’ the classroom. He has also served as co-chair of the Quality Teaching Initiative at the University of Colorado Boulder, designed to foster teaching excellence as a top priority of a research-intensive university and to define clear criteria to evaluate teaching quality.

Selected Publications:


David S. Brown (2021). Statistics and Data Visualization Using R: the Art and Practice of Data Analysis, Sage.

Refereed Articles

David S. Brown, Katherine Bryant, and Andrew Philips (2022). “Integrating the Use of Statistical Software into Undergraduate Political Methodology Courses.Political Science and Politics. Vol. 55, No. 1: pp. 210-215.

David S. Brown (2021). “Democracy and the Supply of Labor.” Studies in Comparative International Development. (on-line).

Erin Huebert and David S. Brown (2019). “Due Process and Homicide: A cross-national analysis.” Political Research Quarterly. Volume 72 (1); p. 190-205.

David S. Brown, Courtenay Brown, J. Christopher Brown (2016). “Land Occupations and Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.” Land Use Policy 54: 331-338.

David S. Brown and Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak (2009). “The Transforming Power of Democracy: Regime Type and Electricity Consumption in the Developing World.” American Political Science Review. 103 (2): 193-213.

David S. Brown, J. Christopher Brown, and Scott W. Desposato (2008). “Who Gives, Who Receives, and Who Wins? Transforming Capital into Political Change through Non-Governmental Organizations.” Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 41, No. 1:24-47.

Avelino, George; Brown, David S.; Hunter, Wendy (2005). “The Effects of Capital Mobility, Trade Openness, and Democracy on Social Spending in Latin America 1980-1999.” American Journal of Political Science 49, no. 3 (July 2005): 625-641.

David S. Brown (2004). “Democracy and Gender Inequality in Education: a cross-national examination.” British Journal of Political Science. 34(1): 157-172.

David S. Brown and Wendy A. Hunter. (1999) “Democracy and Social Spending in Latin America, 1980-92” American Political Science Review Vol. 93, No. 4.

John O'Loughlin, Michael D. Ward, Corey L. Lofdahl, Jordin S. Cohen, David S. Brown, David Reilly, Kristian S. Gleditsch and Michael Shin. “The Diffusion of Democracy, 1946-1994.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 88, no.4, December (1998).