Robert Dowd

Contact Information

robert_dowd Robert Dowd, C.S.C.
Assistant Professor
214 Hesburgh Center for International Studies


Political Science


PhD University of California, Los Angeles

MDiv Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley

BA University of Notre Dame

Select publications

2008. “Ethnically Dominated Party Systems and the Quality of Democracy: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa”. Afrobarometer Working Paper Series, Michigan State University, Michael Bratton, Editor

2008. “Christian Democracy”, in Darity, William A., Jr. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd edition. 9 vols. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008

2005. “Muslim Women and Civil Society in sub-Saharan Africa”, in the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Volume 2, Suad Joseph (ed.). Leiden, The Netherlands:E.J. Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 47-49.


Fr. Dowd is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and founding Director of the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity. A graduate of Notre Dame, Dowd received his doctorate in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests include African politics, ethnic politics, and the impact of religion on development outcomes and political institutions. He is working on a book manuscript titled, Christianity, Islam and Liberal Democracy: Lessons from sub-Saharan Africa. The Ford Family Program, founded by Dowd in 2008, is part of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Its mission is to integrate teaching, research and grassroots community engagement in parts of the world where extreme poverty continues to be a major challenge. Through the Ford Program, Notre Dame forges strategic partnerships with institutions of higher education, non-governmental organizations, governmental organizations, and religious institutions. The first of these partnerships are in Uganda and Kenya.