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Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D. - Texas Woman's University. Denton, TX, US

Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D. Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Department of History & Government | Texas Woman's University


Brexit, Grexit, European-U.S.Relations, and extremism, radicalism, political parties and government in Germany and the European Union.



Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D. Publication Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D. Publication Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D. Publication Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D. Publication







Jonathan Olsen is Professor of Government and Chair of the Department of History and Government at Texas Woman's University. From 1997-2014 he was Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Law at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Dr. Olsen is the author of numerous scholarly articles - in such journals as German Politics, German Politics and Society, and Problems of Post-Communism - and four books, the most recent of which is a textbook on the EU (The European Union: Politics and Policies) with his co-author John C. McCormick. He is a three-time Fulbright Scholar (including 1988-90 when he was in Germany at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall) and a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellow. Dr. Olsen has held visiting appointments at the University of Münster, the University of Potsdam, and the Europa University Viadrina (Frankfurt-Oder). He has appeared as a commentator on German TV, radio, and newspapers, and was a U.S. State Department Guest Lecturer throughout Germany and in Irkutsk, Russia, and Moscow in 2011. He has presented papers at a number of conferences over the last twenty years, including the Conference of Europeanists, the IASGP annual conference in London, the German Studies Association annual conference, and the American Political Science Association annual conference. From 2007-2013 he served on the executive board of the International Association for the Study of German Politics (IASGP) and currently serves as IASGP's North American Secretary. He has also served as panel organizer for the German Studies Association (GSA) for conferences in Pittsburgh and Milwauke. Professor Olsen has been the recipient of both the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Teaching Excellence and Research Excellence awards.

Professor Olsen’s research has focused on German and European political parties, specifically parties of the radical left and radical right. Recent research has also been in the area of the institutions of the European Union. Among the courses he teaches are European Politics, Democratization, Comparative Politics, and courses in political philosophy. Dr. Olsen grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas, received his BA in Philosophy from UT-Austin, his MA in Soviet and East European Studies from Kansas University, and his PhD in Political Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Industry Expertise (2)

Education/Learning Research

Areas of Expertise (9)

German Political Parties European Political Parties Radical Left Wing Parties Radical Right Wing Parties The European Union European Politics Democratization Comparative Politics Political Philosophy

Accomplishments (2)

Teaching Excellence Award (professional)

Awarded by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Research Excellence Award (professional)

Awarded by the University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Education (3)

University of Maryland, College Park: Ph.D., Political Science

Kansas University: M.A., Soviet and East European Studies

University of Texas, Austin: B.A., Philosophy

Media Appearances (1)

What happens to the left when it gains power? Look at Greece’s Syriza party

The Washington Post  online


Our research since 2010 has revealed two important things about ostensibly left-wing parties once they get into office. On the one hand, and often against their better judgments, they make compromises. The purity of opposition always burns bright in the hearts of party members, but the need to find solutions to challenging policy dilemmas forces many of them away from their radical roots...

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Articles (1)

Nature and Nationalism: "Right-Wing" Ecology and the Politics of Identity in Contemporary Germany University of Maryland, College Park


ABSTRACT: Environmental ideology is usually assumed to be either an ideology of the left, or one which somehow "transcends" the traditional left-right spectrum. In contrast, this dissertation examining the "green politics" of the so-called "New Right" in Germany challenges the claim that Environmentalism can be unequivocally placed on the left side of the political spectrum. At the same time however, it rejects the view that Environmentalism is "beyond" left and right. ;This study argues that it is more correct to speak of Environmentalisms in the plural, just as there are several forms of Nationalism...

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