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Politics Faculty

John Kenneth White – Ordinary Professor


John Kenneth White is an Ordinary Professor of Politics.  He has taught at Catholic University since 1988. 

Professor White is author of several books on political parties and the American Presidency.  The New Politics of Old Values examined the role of values in political campaigns and presidential rhetoric with a special focus on the Reagan presidency.  The Values Divide explored how political polarization developed in the post-Reagan years along cultural and social issues.  Barack Obama's America described how a new political demography has reshaped American presidential politics that facilitated the election and reelection of Barack Obama.  

What Happened to the Republican Party, White's latest book, describes how the Republican party has been transformed from the Reagan years into the party of Donald Trump. He has also recently coauthored the textbook Party On!:  From Hamilton and Jefferson to Trump with Professor Matthew Kerbel of Villanova University.  It examines the historical role of the major parties in American political life, and the ways in which the parties shape our political landscape. 

Together with his Catholic University colleague, Dr. Sandra Hanson in Sociology, Professor White has co-edited two books on the American Dream: The American Dream in the 21st Century and Latino/a American Dream, the latter book examining how Latinos/as conceive of the American Dream as they emerge as the leading minority group in the United States.

Professor White has made numerous media appearances and has been often quoted in major newspapers and journal articles.  He has published numerous op-ed columns, most recently for The New York Daily News.

Name teaching



Recent Publications and Presentations

Recent Books

Party On!  Partisan Politics from Hamilton and Jefferson to Trump (w/Matthew Kerbel).  Routledge Press (2017).

Latino/a American Dream (co-edited with Sandra Hanson).  Texas A&M Press (2016).

What Happened to the Republican Party? And What it Means for Presidential Politics.  Routledge Press (2015).

The American Dream in the Twenty-First Century (co-edited with Sandra Hanson).  Temple University Press (2011).

Barack Obama's America:  How New Conceptions of Race, Family, and Religion Ended the Reagan Era.  University of Michigan Press (2009).

Recent Publications

"Donald Trump and the Republican Party:  The Making of a Faustian Bargain."  Studies in Media and Communication 5:2, June 2017.

"Donald Trump and the Scourge of Populism."  The Forum 14:3.

"Sound Work in a Tough Environment."  In Steve E. Schier, Debating the Obama Presidency, Rowman and Littlefield (forthcoming).

"Catholics and Politics."  In Michael Shally-Jensen, ed., American Political Culture: An Encyclopedia (2015).

Recent Presentations

"Donald Trump and the Republican Party:  The Making of a Faustian Bargain," Political Studies Association, International Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, April 2017.

"The Politics of Terrorism:  Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush Compared," American Political Science Association, Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., September 2005.

"The Values Divide and the 2004 Presidential Election," International American Studies Association Conference, Ottowa, Canada, August 2005.


Recent Honors and Appointments

Professor of Politics, Department of Politics, The Catholic University of America,  1994-present.

Director, Life Cycle Institute, The Catholic University of America, 2004-2005.

Associate Professor of Politics, Department of Politics, The Catholic University of America, 1988-1994.

Associate Professor of Politics, State University College of Arts and Sciences, Potsdam, NY, 1986-1988.

> Dr. White's CV



Office: 469 Law School 
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-6136




  • POL 111 – Introduction to American Politics
  • POL 310 – The U.S. Presidency
  • POL 317 – American Public Opinion
  • POL 400 – American Political Parties
  • POL 405 – National Elections
  • POL 625 – Graduate Introduction to American Government
  • POL 626 – The Modern Presidency
  • POL 672 – Congress and the Presidency
  • POL 674 – Congressional Elections


University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT – Ph.D., 1980

University of Connecticut
Storrs, CT – M.A., 1976

University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI – B.A., 1975 


Areas of Expertise

  • American Political Parties
  • American Public Opinion
  • U.S. Presidency
  • Voting Behavior

 >Curriculum Vitae