Jonathan Olsen, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Professor of Government
Office: CF0 606
Office Phone: 940-898-2156
Jonathan Olsen is a professor of government and the chair of the Department of History and Government at TWU. From 1997-2014, he was a professor of politics, philosophy and law at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Olsen is the author of numerous scholarly articles featured in journals like German Politics, German Politics and Society and Problems of Post-Communism. He is also the author of four books, the most recent being a textbook entitled The European Union: Politics and Policies, which he co-authored with John C. McCormick.
He is a three-time Fulbright Scholar (including from 1988-90 when he was in Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall) and a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellow. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Münster, the University of Potsdam and the Europa University Viadrina (Frankfurt-Oder). He also serves on the executive board of the alumni association of the German Academic Exchange Service.
He has appeared as a commentator on German TV, radio and in newspapers and he was a U.S. State Department Guest Lecturer throughout Germany and in both Irkutsk and Moscow in 2011. He has presented papers at a number of conferences over the last twenty years, including the Conference of Europeanists, the International Association for the Study of German Politics (IASGP) annual conference in London, the German Studies Association (GSA) annual conference and the American Political Science Association annual conference. He has also appeared as a commentator on American radio, including his recent interview with KCBS San Francisco covering the recent tensions between Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany.
From 2007-2013, he served on the executive board of the IASGPs and currently serves as its North American secretary. He has also served as panel organizer for the GSA for conferences in Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. He was also the recipient of the University of Wisconsin, Parkside’s Teaching Excellence and Research Excellence awards.
Professor Olsen’s research has primarily focused on German and European political parties, specifically parties of the radical left and radical right. His recent research focuses on the institutions within the EU. Among the courses he teaches are European politics and the EU, democratization, comparative politics, German politics and political philosophy.
Professor Olsen grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, received his bachelor's in philosophy from the University of Texas, his master's in Soviet and East European studies from Kansas University and his doctorate in political science from the University of Maryland, College Park.