Karl Magnus Johansson

Karl Magnus Johansson

Affiliated Professor

I am Affiliate Professor of Political Science. One of my areas of research is government communication. Web: https://www.polexmedia.com/external link

Social Sciences

+46 73 397 28 66 +46733972866

Karl Magnus Johansson was formerly Professor and is now Affiliate Professor of Political Science at Södertörn University, Stockholm. He joined the new Södertörn University in 1998 from Lund University and the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. He was educated at Lund University and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He held visiting positions at the Center for European Integration Studies at Bonn University and at Stellenbosch University and was Part-time Professor at the European University Institute, Florence.

His primary research interests are European integration and politics, political parties and transnationalism, and political communication and executives.

Among projects he has worked on, he has looked at the Swedish foreign policy executive, in particular the relationship between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, at transnational influence on social democratic and conservative parties in the Baltics, as well as at populist parties with particular attention to how they organize nationally and transnationally.

An ongoing area of research for Professor Johansson is government communication, defined broadly as the structures, practices and processes of central executive institutions in their communication aspects. Specifically, his field of work centres on the intersection of political leadership, institutions and communications in central government in Sweden and elsewhere, and also the role of media advisers to prime ministers.

He was Lead Coordinator of the research project ‘Symbiotic leader-media relations? Exploring interaction between prime ministers and the media in Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden’, which ran until end of 2021. The project explored political executive-media relations, mainly interactions between prime ministers (and their communication aides) and journalists. The project addressed scholarly and related themes such as the presidentialization, personalization and mediatization of politics, as well as the relationship between journalists and sources in different media systems. How and with what consequences do political executives and media interact? This question was at the heart of the research project. The project was interdisciplinary and brought together ten participants from five research environments in all four countries. Findings have been published in an edited volume, in a doctoral thesis and in journal articles or conference papers (https://www.polexmedia.com/ External link.). In addition, Professor Johansson is the author of a forthcoming monograph published by Palgrave Macmillan (https://link.springer.com/book/9783031121517).

Professor Johansson's current research continues to explore the relationship between EU-level political parties/groups and constitutional or institutional reform in the EU. This current work also emphasizes agenda-setting and advocacy frameworks. This research continues a longstanding cooperation with Professor Tapio Raunio at Tampere University, Finland. They have co-authored several publications.

Professor Johansson has written extensively on transnational party cooperation within and throughout the EU and on EU politics, as well as on questions related to Sweden’s membership in the EU and more recently also on various aspects of government communication in particular. He has published many books and book chapters, research reports and articles in journals such as Acta Politica, Comparative European Politics, European Journal of Political Research, Government and Opposition, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Integration, Journal of European Public Policy, Journal of Public Affairs, Party Politics, Politics & Policy, Public Administration, and West European Politics.

His five most recent selected publications:

  • Johansson, Karl Magnus (2022). [2017] Sweden and the European Union. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. New York: Oxford University Press. (Article update 2022) https://oxfordre.com/politics/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228637-e-506 External link.
  • Johansson, Karl Magnus and Tapio Raunio (2022). Shaping the EU’s Future? Europarties, European Parliament’s Political Groups and the Conference on the Future of Europe. In Petra Ahrens, Anna Elomäki and Johanna Kantola (eds) European Parliament’s Political Groups in Turbulent Times (pp.173–197). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-94012-6_8
  • Johansson, Karl Magnus and Tapio Raunio (2022). The partisan dimension of the Conference on the Future of Europe: Agenda-setting, objectives and influence. Stockholm: Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies. https://sieps.se/en/publications/2022/the-partisan-dimension-of-the-conference-on-the-future-of-europe-agenda-setting-objectives-and-influence/
  • Johansson, Elena and Karl Magnus Johansson (2021). Along the government–media frontier: Press secretaries offline/online. Journal of Public Affairs, published online 13 September 2021. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pa.2759
  • Johansson, Karl Magnus (2021). Stärker mediemakten regeringsmakten? [Does media power strengthen governmental power?]. Statsvetenskaplig tidskrift [Swedish Journal of Political Science] 123 (1): 5–25. https://journals.lub.lu.se/st/article/view/22769 External link.


The CV

• Born: 1966 in Kalmar, Sweden. • Education: PhD in political science from Lund University; visiting research student at the London School of Economics and Political Science; BA in political science and economics from Lund University. • Career: 1990 Becomes PhD-candidate and teaching assistant at the Department of Political Science, Lund University. 1997 Appointed assistant professor and becomes coordinator at the Centre for European Studies, Lund University; joins the Swedish Institute of International Affairs as research fellow. 1998 Joins Södertörn University as assistant professor and becomes head of the European Programme. 1999 Visiting scholar at the Center for European Integration Studies at Bonn University (appointed senior fellow 2000). 2000 Becomes head of subject, Political Science. 2001 Appointed associate professor; visiting scholar at Stellenbosch University. 2011 Appointed professor. 2014 Appointed member of programme board, Research Council of Norway; becomes lead coordinator of the research project Symbiotic leader-media relations? Exploring interaction between prime ministers and the media in Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. 2015 Appointed chairman of recruitment committee, Södertörn University. 2017 Co-founded the Centre for the Study of Political Organization, Södertörn University. 2018 Becomes part-time professor at the European University Institute, Florence. 2021 Was formerly professor and is now appointed affiliate professor of political science at the School of Social Sciences at Södertörn University. 2022 Consulting assignment for the Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies. • Civil status: Married, one stepson. • Main interests outside work: Reading, travelling and spending time with family and friends. • Web: www.sh.se/karlmagnusjohansson; www.polexmedia.com

Link to my website External link, opens in new window.

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Exploring interaction between prime ministers and the media in Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden

Symbiotic leader-media relations?