Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Assistant Professor of Criminology


  • 2011, Ph.D. Virginia Tech
  • 2007, M.A. Marshall University
  • 2003, B.A. Western Kentucky University 

Teaching Specialties

  • Police & Society
  • Criminological Theory
  • Youth Subcultures
  • Deviance
  • Juvenile Delinquency
  • 1/14 – present    Director of Criminology, Arkansas State
  • 1/14 – present    Interim Coordinator for Distance Education in                                           Criminology & Sociology
  • 1/14 – present    Interim Assistant Chair, Arkansas State
  • 8/12 – present    Assistant Professor of Criminology, Arkansas State
  • 8/11 – 7/12         (Non-Tenure Track) Assistant Professor,                                                  Tennessee Tech University 

Research Interests

Protest Event & Public Disorder Policing; Violence & Extremism; Social Movements & Revolutions; Crime/Crime Control/Inequality Nexus; Drug Subcultures

RECENT PUBLICATIONS (*Indicates student co-author)

  • 2014: Thomas N. Ratliff and Lori Hall*. “Practicing the Art of Dissent: Toward a Typology of Protest Activity in the United States.” Humanity & Society, p. 1-27.
  • 2013: Stephen Paulson, Thomas N. Ratliff, and Emily Dollieslager*. “‘You have to Fight! For Your Right! To Party!’ Structure, Culture, and Mobilization in a University Party Riot.” Research in Social Movements, Conflicts, and Change, Volume 36: 271-305.
  • 2012: Thomas N. Ratliff and Karl Precoda. “Aesthetic or Movement? Fascism, Italian     Neorealist Cinema, and Social Activism through Film.” Pp. 439-462 in Shawn Bingham’s, The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life. Lexington Books.


  • American Sociological Association (ASA)                                               Sections: Collective Behavior & Social Movements; Sociology of Law;       Culture
  • American Society of Criminology (ASC)
  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS)
  • The Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP)                              Sections: Conflict, Social Action & Change; Law & Society; Crime &        Juvenile Delinquency
  • Southern Sociological Society (SSS)
  • Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) – The International Sociology Honors Society 


Dr. Ratliff received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 2011 where he focused on the policing and social control of protest events. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and Arkansas State University, with publications appearing in Humanity & Society, Research in Social Movements, Conflicts, & Change, and Social Forces. Dr. Ratliff’s ongoing research merges data from multiple sources, including the Dynamics of Collective Action Project, to evaluate policing styles and citizen “performances” at protest events in the U.S. from 1955-2016. His current book project, The Stage of Change: Protest and Policing from the Battle in Seattle to the Age of Obama, documents levels of mobilization by U.S. social movements since 1999—antiwar, LGBT rights, nature and environment, immigrant rights, the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street and Economic Justice—which have not been seen since The Sixties. His other projects include multi-university collaborations with scholars from the University of Arizona (Jennifer Earl), University of California—Irvine (David Snow), and Virginia Tech (James Hawdon). Two of these projects examine: (1) how online movement behavior influences off-line police responses; and (2) how the Internet is used by domestic extremist groups and how differing Internet functionalities impact recruitment to extremist action.

Dr. Ratliff is also highly active in distance learning, online education, and curricular development. As the Interim Coordinator for Distance Education in Criminology and Sociology, he has worked to develop the curriculum at Degree Centers across the state of Arkansas in order to provide access to high quality education in underserved areas. As Director of Criminology and the ASTATE Online Criminology minor, he has sought to continue developing one of the largest majors in the ASTATE system. He actively engages his students in his research and views teaching and research as reciprocal tools to build and hone the skills of ASTATE graduates. Students under his mentorship have went on to attend PhD programs at Virginia Tech, the University of Chicago, Purdue University, and the University of California—Irvine, while others have went on to become wardens in super-max prisons, supervisors of juvenile justice centers, as well as crime analysts and evidence room managers for the Jonesboro Police Department.

Thomas Ratliff

Contact Information

P: (870) 972-3235
F: (870) 972-3694


Building: HSS
Room: 3073