Michael Dawson’s research interests have included the development of quantitative models of African-American political behavior, identity and public opinion, the political effects of urban poverty, and African-American political ideology. This work also includes delineating the differences in African American public opinion from those of white Americans. More recently he has combined his quantitative work with research in political theory.
His previous two books, Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics (1994) and Black Visions: The Roots of Contemporary African-American Political Ideologies (2001) won multiple awards, including Black Visions winning the prestigious Ralph Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association. Dawson's strong interest in the impact of the information technology revolution on society and politics, as well as his research on race are both fueled in part from his time spent as an activist while studying and working in Silicon Valley. Dawson is currently finishing an edited volume, Fragmented Rainbow, on race and civil society in the United States as well as a solo volume, Black Politics in the Early 21st Century.
Dawson has been interviewed extensively by the print and broadcast media including the Washington Post, The Economist Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, NPR, CNN, BET and ABC News.