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Richard Johnson Queen Mary University: Background, Career, Research Interests, Publications

Richard Johnson Queen Mary University: Background, Career, Research Interests, Publications 2

Richard Johnson Queen Mary University

Richard Johnson is a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. In 2020, he will begin working at Queen Mary as a Lecturer in US Politics and Policy. He previously worked as a lecturer at Lancaster University. He has held visiting research and teaching roles at Yale University, Cambridge University, and Beijing Foreign Studies University. He attended Cambridge (Jesus College) and Oxford (Nuffield College), where he taught tutorials on US and comparative politics. He currently teaches US Politics, Race and US Politics, and US Public Policy at the undergraduate level.

Richard Johnson’s research focuses on race and democracy in the United States. Research interests include the US Constitution and political institutions (Congress, the presidency, the courts, and federalism), elections and campaigns, partisanship and polarization, and representation. He also studies the history of the UK Labour Party, the party’s relationship with Europe, and the British constitution.


Richard Johnson Research Interests

Richard Johnson’s primary research interests are race and democracy in the United States. This was the subject of his book The End of the Second Reconstruction, which uncovered the role of political violence, federalism, and the federal judiciary in sabotaging civil rights from the Civil War to the Trump presidency. He has published academic research on elections and campaigning in the United States, including on the Voting Rights Act, African American candidates’ communication strategies, Black nationalism and electoral politics, working-class candidates’ fundraising strategies, and the role of presidents in midterm elections, as well as on racially polarised partisanship, ‘white flight’ from the Democratic Party, and the Trump administration’s policies on voting rights and incarceration.

Richard Johnson Queen Mary

In addition, he has written about policy and the policymaking process in the United States, including the reception of private school vouchers in urban communities, school district secession and its impact on school re-segregation (with Desmond King), an analysis of Donald Trump’s use of Twitter to bypass standard executive branch decision-making procedures (with Osman Sahin and Umut Korkut), the conservative policy bias of US Senate malapportionment (with Lisa Miller), and effort (with Sam Mallinson). He is also the author of the textbook, US Foreign Policy: Domestic Roots and International Impact.


Another area of interest is British politics, particularly the history of the Labour Party. He has published academic research on Labour’s changing European policy under Neil Kinnock, the history of the European Parliamentary Labour Party, Theresa May’s record on LGBT rights, and Jeremy Corbyn’s foreign policy outlook (with Mark Garnett). For Tribune, he has written profiles of prominent Labour figures such as Michael Foot, Barbara Castle, Peter Shore, and Anne Kerr, as well as a reflection on Englishness and the Left. He co-edited the book Sceptical Perspectives on the Changing Constitution of the United Kingdom with Yuan Yi Zhu and contributed a chapter on the “Case for the Political Constitution.” He has also published academic research on proportional representation (with Ron Johnston and Iain McLean).

Current projects include a comparison of ‘busing’ in the US and the UK, a study of the first Black candidates to run for office in majority-white states, sectarianism and negative partisanship in the US, an analysis of voting trends among Hispanic/Latino voters, and a textbook on US politics. He is also working on a book about the history of Labour Euroskepticism.

Richard Johnson Publications



US Politics: The Search for Power (Bloomsbury, under contract)

With YUAN YI ZHU (eds), Sceptical Perspectives on the Changing Constitution of the United Kingdom (Hart, 2023)


US Foreign Policy: Domestic Roots and International Impact (Bristol University Press, 2021)

The End of the Second Reconstruction: Obama, Trump, and the Crisis of Civil Rights (Polity, 2020)



with LISA MILLER, ‘The Conservative Policy Bias of Senate Malapportionment’, PS: Political Science and Politics (in press).

‘School Choice as Community Disempowerment: Racial Rhetoric about Voucher Policy in Urban America’, Urban Affairs Review 58:2 (2022), 563-596.

‘The 1982 Voting Rights Extension as a Critical Juncture: Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, and Republican Party-Building’, Studies in American Political Development 35:2 (2021), 223-238.


with UMUT KORKUT & OSMAN SAHIN, ‘Policy-making by Tweets: Discursive Governance, Populism, and the Trump Presidency’, Contemporary Politics 27 (2021), 591-610.

with DESMOND KING, ‘Race Was a Motivating Factor: Re-segregated schools in the American states’, Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy 35:1 (2019), 75-95.

‘Proudly for Brooke: Race-Conscious Campaigning in 1960s Massachusetts’, Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics 3:2 (Sept 2018), 261-292.


‘Hamilton’s Deracialization: Barack Obama’s Racial Politics in Context’, Du Bois Review 14:2 (Fall 2017), 621-638

with RON JOHNSTON and IAIN McLEAN, ‘Overrepresenting UKIP, Underrepresenting the Greens and Lib Dems: The 2014 European Elections in Great Britain’, Representation (2014) 50:4, 429-437.


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