Dennis Johnson

Dennis W. Johnson, Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Acting Executive Director, the Graduate School of Political Management and Professor of Political Management and Legislative Affairs

Faculty Programs: Political Management and Legislative Affairs

Dennis W. Johnson (Ph.D., Duke University) is the Acting Executive Director and professor of political management at GW’s Graduate School of Political Management. From 1995 through 2006, he was associate dean of the Graduate School and from 1993 through 2000, he was director of the master’s degree program in legislative affairs.

In the 2010-2011 academic year he served as Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China. His academic and scholarly interests include campaigns and elections, the profession of political consulting, technology and politics, and the history of American public policy.

Dr. Johnson founded and serves as editor of The Graduate School of Political Management Series on Applied Politics. The first volume in this Series, Campaigning for President 2008: Strategy and Tactics, New Voices and New Techniques (Routledge, 2009) analyzes the 2008 presidential campaign. Faculty from the GSPM, senior political consultants with experience on presidential campaigns, and political scientists analyze the strategy and tactics of the candidates in the primaries and general election, the surge in youth voting, new communication tools, and the extraordinary amount of money raised.

A second volume in the Series is Campaigning in the Twenty-first Century: A Whole New Ballgame? (Routledge, December 2010), authored by Dennis Johnson. This work will explore the various ways that professional campaigns, from the presidency down to local contests, have changed during the past decade.

Dr. Johnson has been at the forefront of scholars examining the role of professional consultants and political management. He was editor of a major reference book, the Routledge Handbook on Political Management (Routledge, 2008), which brought together forty-nine scholars and practitioners from throughout the world to focus on applied politics, elections and issue management.

A second edition of his No Place for Amateurs: How Political Consultants Are Reshaping American Democracy (Routledge) appeared in 2007. He has also contributed chapters to books and peer-reviewed journals on political consulting: “Campaigning in the Twenty-first Century: Change and Continuity in American Political Marketing,” in Jennifer Lees-Marshment, ed., Routledge Handbook on Political Marketing (Routledge, 2011, forthcoming); “Campaigning on the Internet,” a chapter in Stephen C. Craig, ed., The Electoral Challenge: Theory Meets Practice (CQ Press, 2006); “First Hurdles: The Evolution of the Pre-Primary and Primary Stages of American Presidential Elections,” a chapter in Bruce I. Newman and Philip Davies, eds., Winning Elections with Political Marketing (Haworth, 2006); “2000 Elections: Perspectives on the Closest Presidential Election in U.S. History,” a chapter in Bruce I. Newman and Dejan Vercic, eds., Communication of Politics (Haworth, 2003) “Perspectives on Political Consulting,” Journal of Political Marketing, 1:1 (October 2002); and “The Business of Political Consulting,” a chapter in James A. Thurber, ed., Campaign Warriors (Brookings, 2000). Dr. Johnson also serves as senior editor of the Journal of Political Marketing (Routledge) and on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Affairs (Wiley).

Dr. Johnson also has written about the impact of online technology on politics and political institutions. From 2000-2003, he was principal investigator of a major study of Congress and online communication, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. He wrote Congress Online: Bridging the Gap Between Citizens and their Representatives (Routledge, 2004). Other writings include: “Grassroots, Astroturf, and Internet Lobbying,” in Burdett Loomis, ed., Lobbying in the United States (CQ Press, 2011, forthcoming); “Communicating with Congress,” a chapter in James A. Thurber and Colton Campbell, eds., Congress and the Internet (CQ Books, 2003); “U.S. Congress Responds to Online Communications Needs,” in Journal of Political Marketing, 2:3 (October 2003); “Elections and Public Polling: Will the Media Get Online Polling Right?” Journal of Psychology and Marketing, 19:12 (November 2002); and “The CyberSpace Election in Your Future,” a chapter in Bruce I. Newman, ed., Political Marketing Handbook (Sage, 1999). Dr. Johnson serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Information Technology and Politics.

He is author of The Laws that Shaped America: Fifteen Acts of Congress and their Lasting Impact (Routledge, 2009), a major work on the history of American domestic public policy.

Johnson has presented papers or delivered speeches at the Sixtieth Annual British Political Studies Conference, Edinburgh (2010); the Fifty-fourth Annual British American Studies Conference, University of Leicester (2006); the Sixth Annual Political Marketing Conference, Middlesex University, London (2003); GSPM-sponsored conferences on elections in Madrid (2002); the Eighth International Public Relations Symposium, Lake Bled, Slovenia (2001); the Midwest Association of Public Opinion Research, Chicago (1999); the World Congress of International Association of Political Consultants, Vienna (1998) and Milan (1999), and the European Association of Political Consultants, Palermo (2001).

Dr. Johnson has guest lectured and participated in seminars at the Judge Institute of Management Studies, Cambridge University, England (1997) and the University of Innsbruck, Austria (1999). He has been interviewed by a wide variety of television and newspaper sources, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC evening news, British Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, C-SPAN, Public Broadcasting System, MS-NBC, U.S. Information Agency, Voice of America, Middle East Television, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, and AP Television. As Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer, he is currently lecturing and speaking widely to a variety of academic, professional, and business audiences throughout China.