Karl Magnus Johansson
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 graduated from Lund, double-majored in political science and economics, and holds a PhD in political science from Lund. He was a visiting research student at 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 Sweden and 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 a monograph, an edited volume, a doctoral thesis, as well as in journal articles or conference papers (https://www.polexmedia.com/ External link.).
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. In their new book (see below), they study political parties at the European level, Europarties, in their own right, and how they exercise their agency. Among other things, the book describes how they are organized and explains why some Europarties are better placed to make their impact felt than others. It finds that Europarties continue to wield influence and that their cohesion and capacity for mobilization emerges as the key factor or condition for influencing political outcomes in the EU along party political lines. The findings raise questions about the future role of the Europarties, not least how they might contribute to democratizing the EU itself.
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 and Tapio Raunio (forthcoming 2024).Transnational Parties and Advocacy in European Integration. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Johansson, Karl Magnus (forthcoming 2024). Prime Ministerial Media Advisers: Demystifying the Spin Doctor, in Jennifer Lees-Marshment (ed.), Political Management in Practice: Lessons from around the Globe. London: Routledge.
- Johansson, Karl Magnus (2022). The Prime Minister–Media Nexus: Centralization Logic and Application. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-12152-4 External link.
- Johansson, Karl Magnus (2022).  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, Elena and Karl Magnus Johansson (2022). Along the government–media frontier: Press secretaries offline/online. Journal of Public Affairs 22 (S1). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pa.2759
• Born: 2 May 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