Hume Johnson, PhD

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

Dr. Johnson is an inter-disciplinary political scholar whose research focuses on three overlapping areas of study: political participation and activism (with attention to popular protests, social movements and civil society); democratic governance, specifically issues of development, crime, statecraft, party politics and public policy) and public relations/media studies (including the public relations and identity of nation states, media politics and media technology). Described as one of the most exciting intellectuals to emerge in the last decade in the field of governance and civil society, Dr Johnson brings to her work thoughtful, cogent and provocative approaches that bring together concepts from democratic politics, social movement theory, and media studies to interrogate the received wisdom on civil society and good governance.

She has written extensively on the challenges to building genuine and empowered civil society in countries of the Global South. For example, her first book entitled ‘Challenges to Civil Society: Popular Protest and Governance in Jamaica, Cambria Press, 2011), reconceptuali civil society to examine the nature and consequences of popular protest in Jamaica. The study is the first empirically grounded investigation into the challenges to civil society in Jamaica, breaking new ground in the study of the difficult relationship between civil society and democratic governance in the context of the Global South. By asking vexing questions about the implications of incivility for the functioning of civil society in the context of the Third World, Dr. Johnson reminds readers of civil society’s dual face and the challenge this poses, especially for developing countries.

Dr Johnson’s concerns about the implications of violence for civil society have also extended to examining the issue of “informer-phobia” – the fear of reporting on threats of terrorist or criminal activities – focusing on the specific context of Afghanistan with members of the ISEF personnel (interpreters)working with the international forces, and among ordinary citizens in Jamaica residing in communities rules by powerful criminal Mafia Dons. A journal article and book chapter (co-authored with Joseph Soeters, military sociologist, Netherlands Defence Academy and University of Tilburg) have introduced and developed the concept of “informer-phobia”.

Dr Johnson’s versatility as a scholar is also evident in her contributions t