Dr Jon Johansson
School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations
Phone: 04 463 6424
Location: Room 507, Murphy Building, Kelburn Pde, Kelburn Campus
BA (Psychology/Political Science), BA(Hons), PhD Victoria University
Jon Johansson is a senior lecturer in Comparative Politics. His main specialties include New Zealand and American politics as well as political leadership. In 2015 Jon is returning to teach POLS 207: Modern American Politics. This course examines modern politics in the US within the prism of America’s constitutional and political development. Jon will also teach one paper on New Zealand’s domestic politics: POLS 353, which examines New Zealand’s 'Growing Pains,' its politics since 1975. His full-year honours class, POLS 403, is again being offered and explores political leadership phenomena, focusing particularly on presidential leadership and comparing and contrasting it with Westminster-styled prime ministerial leadership. Jon’s other major areas of interest include political psychology and political rhetoric.
Jon has recently published a leadership monograph: US Leadership in Political Time and Space: Pathfinders, Patriots, and Existential Heroes (2014: Palgrave), which is a study of US leadership across political time.
He also has a recent review of John Key’s prime ministership for a general readership in The Listener, see: The real world - Commentary - The Listener.
Jon, alongside co-editor Professor Stephen Levine, are currently co-editing their latest election campaign book, due to be published in 2015, focusing on the 2014 general election in New Zealand, to accompany their earlier book, Kicking the Tyres: The New Zealand General Election and Electoral Referendum of 2011. Jon also published in 2011 Leslie Lipson’s central study of New Zealand politics The Politics of Equality, writing a new and updated introduction to Lipson’s 1948 classic. Jon’s last sole authored book on domestic politics The Politics of Possibility: Leadership in Changing Times was published in 2009, following the publication of Two Titans: Muldoon, Lange & Leadership in 2005.
Jon spent the fall semester of 2009 in Washington DC as Fulbright’s Visiting Scholar to Georgetown University. He has also published a series of feature pieces on Barack Obama in The Listener for a general readership, including:
Dr Johansson is a veteran television political analyst and has appeared constantly across media platforms during the past decade, most especially including Election Day coverage in both New Zealand and the United States. Jon’s analysis of US presidential politics and tracking the rise of Barack Obama have been recorded on Radio New Zealand's Sunday show ever since the 2008 primaries. His thoughts were also featured in 'Elephants Down Under,' a column by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, published in March 2012.
Current Research Projects
Jon’s current research includes undertaking further case studies (including Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Carnegie, James Webb and Steve Jobs) for a second edition of U.S. Leadership in Political Time & Space: Pathfinders, Patriots and Existential Heroes. Jon and his colleague Professor Stephen Levine are also collaborating on their latest post-election campaign book as well as a co-edited collection of essays on political rhetoric in the New Zealand setting. As part of that project Jon has been studying the role of rhetoric in lifting the quality and direction of race discourse, the latest in four published works that focus on aspects of race and leadership in New Zealand. Jon is also working towards a study of the political career of Dr Don Brash, former leader of the National Party.
Selection of Publications
- Johansson, Jon. 2014. U.S. Leadership in Political Time: Space: Pathfinders, Patriots & Existential Heroes. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Johansson, Jon., and Levine, Stephen. (eds.). 2012. Kicking the Tyres: The 2011 General Election and Referendum on Electoral Systems. Wellington: VUW Press.
- Johansson, Jon. 2011. 'Introduction to Lipson, Leslie'. 1948. The Politics of Equality. (2nd ed.). Wellington: VUW Press.
- Johansson, Jon. 2009. The Politics of Possibility: Leadership in Changing Times. Wellington: Dunmore Press.
- Johansson, Jon. Two Titans: Muldoon, Lange & Leadership. 2005. Wellington: Dunmore Press.
- Johansson, Jon. (Guest Editor). Political Science: Special Issue on Political Leadership in New Zealand. Vol. 56. No. 2. (December 2004).
Book chapters and journal articles (Selected):
- Johansson, Jon. 'Prime Ministers and their Parties in New Zealand,' in t'Hart, Paul et al. 2013. Understanding Prime Ministerial Performance: Comparative Perspectives. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
- Johansson, Jon., and Levine, Stephen. 'Evaluating Prime- Ministerial Performance: The New Zealand Experience,' in t'Hart, Paul et al. 2013. Understanding Prime Ministerial Performance: Comparative Perspectives. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
- Johansson, Jon. 'Leadership & the Election: Words, Actions & Ambivalence,' in Johansson, Jon., and Levine, Stephen. (eds.). 2012. Kicking the Tyres: The 2011 General Election and Referendum on Electoral Systems. Wellington: VUW Press.
- Johansson, Jon. '2008: Leadership during Transition,' in Stephen Levine and Nigel Roberts. (eds.). 2010. Key to Victory. Wellington: Victoria University Press.
- Johansson, Jon. 'To Thine Own Self Be True: Branding, Authenticity & Political Leadership - the Case of Don Brash,' in Lees-Marchment, Jennifer. 2009. Introduction to Political Marketing. London: Routledge, pp 135-139.
- Johansson, Jon. 'The E-mail Leader: The Obsessive-Compulsive Leadership Style of Dr. Don Brash.' Paper delivered at the Thirty-First Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology. Sciences Po. 2008. Paris, France, 9-12 July.
- Johansson, Jon. 'Jim Bolger: Helmsman,' in Special Edition of Political Science Journal on Independence & Prime Ministers in New Zealand. 2008. Vol. 60. No. 2. (December 2008).
- Johansson, Jon. 'Brash, Orewa and The Politics of Race: Critic & Conscience in a Desperate Campaign,' in Stephen Levine and Nigel Roberts. (eds.). 2007. The Baubles of Office: The New Zealand General Election of 2005. Victoria University Press.
- Johansson, Jon. 'What If Ruth Richardson Had Never Delivered the "Mother of All Budgets?"' In Stephen Levine. (ed.) 2007. New Zealand As It Might Have Been. Victoria University Press.
- Johansson, Jon. 'Orewa and the Rhetoric of Illusion,' in Special Edition of Political Science Journal on Political Leadership in New Zealand. 2005. Vol. 56. No. 2. (December 2004).