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Personal profile


In July 2012, John Gaffney was awarded £77,000 by the Leverhulme Trust for a two year study of UK political leadership.

His latest book, Political Leadership in France: From Charles de Gaulle to Nicolas Sarkozy (Palgrave, 2012), is now out in paperback.

He is also the author of three other monographs on UK and French Politics. He has written over fifty journal articles and chapters, and has edited a dozen books, his two most recent being Stardom in Postwar France (Berghahn, 2011), with Diana Holmes; and The Presidents of the French Fifth Republic (Palgrave, 2013), with David Bell.

Professor Gaffney appears regularly in the media. He has twice been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard, and is currently a Visiting Professor at The Institute for Political Studies, Sciences-Po, Rennes. He is currently setting up a new Joint Master’s degree with Rennes, Multilevel Governance and International Relations. He supervises PhDs on a range of topics, in particular on the theory and practice of political leadership. He teaches a range of politics modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

He has twice been Head of the Politics Group. He is currently the Politics Group’s Research Enhancer, with particular reference to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. He sits on the School’s Research Committee and on School Board. He was a long-standing member of Senate until 2011.

John Gaffney is a Member of the Executive Editorial Board of the journal French Politics.

He is a member of the Political Studies Association (UK), the American Political Science Association, the National Communication Association (US), and the University Association for Contemporary European Studies.


Co-Director of the Aston Centre for Europe


D.Phil. Comparative Politics, Sussex University, UK, 1984

M.A. Politics, Sussex University, 1979

B.A. French and European Studies (1st Class Honours), Sussex University 1978

Contact Details

Room: NW802A
Phone: +44 (0) 121 204 3761
Mobile: +44 (0) 7554000668
Fax: +44 (0) 121 204 3766
Office Hours: 
Thursday: 2pm - 4pm
Friday: 2pm - 3pm

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where John Gaffney is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 5 Similar Profiles
Labour Party Social Sciences
political leadership Social Sciences
leadership Social Sciences
France Social Sciences
politics Social Sciences
leader Social Sciences
rhetoric Social Sciences
narrative Social Sciences

Research Output 2001 2017

Leadership and the Labour Party: narrative and performance

Gaffney, J., Jan 2017, London (UK): Palgrave Macmillan. 254 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Labour Party
party politics

Voices of the UK Left: Rhetoric, Ideology and the Performance of Politics

Atkins, J. (ed.) & Gaffney, J. (ed.), 2017, Palgrave Macmillan. 250 p. (Rhetoric, Politics and Society)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

Green Party
Labour Party

France in the Hollande Presidency: the unhappy Republic

Gaffney, J., 2015, Basingstoke (UK): Palgrave Macmillan. (French Politics and Society)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Political leadership and the politics of performance: France, Syria and the chemical weapons crisis of 2013

Gaffney, J., Sep 2014, In : French Politics. 12, 3, p. 218-234 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
chemical weapon
political leadership

Charles de Gaulle: the Real Gaullist Settlement

Gaffney, J. (ed.), 28 Jan 2013, The Presidents of the French Fifth Republic. Bell, D. S. & Gaffney, J. (eds.). London (UK): Palgrave Macmillan, p. 79-97 19 p. (French Politics, Society and Culture).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


Can economic crises constitute collective identity crises?: The case of Greek European identity during the Greek debt/Eurozone crisis

Author: Ntampoudi, I., 13 May 2017

Supervisor: Gaffney, J. (Supervisor), Copsey, N. W. (Supervisor) & Carrapiço, H. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Political leadership : character and performance. A comparative analysis of British political leadership, 1997-2010.

Author: Lahel, A., 28 Jun 2012

Supervisor: Gaffney, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The Legitimation of authority in the European Union

Author: Drake, H., 1996

Supervisor: Gaffney, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Une étude générique du metteur en scène au théâtre: son émergence et son rôle moderne et contemporain

Author: Alix, C., Aug 2008

Supervisor: Gaffney, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Activities 2001 2001

  • 2 Editorial activity

French Politics (Journal)

John Gaffney (Editorial board member)
2001 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

Palgrave Macmillan (Publisher)

John Gaffney (Editorial board member)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

Press / Media

Midlands Today

John Gaffney


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

1 hr Programme on Presidentialism

John Gaffney


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Other