Senior Lecturer in Politics, Director of Learning and Teaching, Keele University

My first degree was a B.A. in Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford, but I decided I really wanted to focus on politics and went to Essex University to take a Masters in American Government and Politics. My interest in the American Presidency really took off at that point and I went to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge to complete my doctoral dissertation on that topic (specifically, how presidents-elect and presidents in the early months of their presidency take policy decisions). During that period, I also spent a great year at the University of Pennsylvania. I was appointed to the American Studies Department at Keele in the 1990s, but have since moved to SPIRE, although I still contribute to the American Studies programme.

My primary focus is the American Presidency, although I have broader interests in both public policy and US government as a whole. I’m particularly interested in how presidents choose to govern and what constrains their ability to get things done. Particularly, I’m working on ideas concerning the relationship between presidential policy-making, presidential agendas and political strategy. I publish on other subjects (recently on the conservative movement in the US and US foreign policy) but the presidency is the thing I always come back to. Obviously, the Obama presidency is my main focus right now. I’m a member of Keele’s Research Institute for the Social Sciences.

Herbert J. 2012. Revisiting Arthur Schlesinger's The Imperial Presidency: Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and Executive Power. In Watergate Remembered. Genovese MA and Morgan IW (Eds.). Palgrave MacMillan.
Herbert JN. 2011. The Toxic Presidency of George W. Bush. Representation, vol. 47(3), 265-280. doi>
HERBERT JN. 2011. The Struggles of an 'Orthodox Innovator': George W. Bush, the Conservative Movement and Domestic Policy. In Crisis of Conservatism?. Aberbach JD and Peele G (Eds.). Oxford University Press, USA. doi>
HERBERT JN. Wroe A and Herbert JN (Eds.). 2009. Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency. Edinburgh University Press.
HERBERT JN. 2006. Foreign Policy. In Developments in American Politics 5. Peele G, Bailey CJ, Cain BE, Peters BG (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Politics, Director of Learning and Teaching, Keele University