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Justin S. Vaughn

VaughnJ-1209-150x150Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science

Contact Information

Phone: 208.426.2515
Office: ERB 5123
Mail Stop: 1935

Office Hours: Fall 2014
MoWe 10:00 am- 11:30 am


Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Vaughn’s Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Dr. Justin S. Vaughn is an assistant professor of political science at Boise State University. He has published several studies of presidential politics, including Gendering the Presidency: Gender, Presidential Politics, and Popular Culture (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency (Texas A&M University Press, 2014), and Controlling the Message? Campaigning in an Information-Rich Environment (New York University Press, forthcoming), as well as articles in Presidential Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, International Journal of Public Administration, Review of Policy Research, Administration & Society, and White House Studies. His current research projects include examinations of the strategic dimensions of presidential rhetoric, empirical analyses of how U.S. governors communicate with the public as they seek to sell their policy agendas, and conducting a new expert poll of political scientists about presidential greatness.

Dr. Vaughn is co-editor of the Presidents & Executive Politics Report, a member of the Executive Council of the Presidency Research Section of the American Political Science Association, and the 2014 Media & Political Communication section chair for the Western Political Science Association. He has previously served on the board of the APSA’s Politics, Literature, and Film Section, as Executive Politics section chair for the Western Political Science Association, and as a fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency. He has been consulted as an expert on the American presidency by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, NPR, Politico, the Christian Science Monitor, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Toledo Blade, the Pacific Northwest Inlander, the BBC, Al Jazeera, Danish Broadcasting, ABC (Australia), Ceska Televize (Czech Television), CNBC-Asia, La Presse (Canada), Nikkei (Japan), Pravda (Slovakia), Swedish National Radio, WKYC-Cleveland, KCBS-San Francisco, WCPN- Cleveland, WBT-Charlotte, and on-air election night analysis of the 2008 presidential election for the Cleveland, OH FOX affiliate. Dr. Vaughn earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at Texas A&M University.



The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency (Presidential Rhetoric and Political Communication

Campaign rhetoric helps candidates to get elected, but its effects last well beyond the counting of the ballots; this was perhaps never truer than in Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. Did Obama create such high expectations that they actually hindered his ability to enact his agenda? Should we judge his performance by the scale of the expectations his rhetoric generated, or against some other standard?The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency grapples with these and other important questions.


Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics

The president of the United States traditionally serves as a symbol of power, virtue, ability, dominance, popularity, and patriarchy. In recent years, however, the high-profile candidacies of Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Bachmann have provoked new interest in gendered popular culture and how it influences Americans’ perceptions of the country’s highest political office.
With its strong, multidisciplinary approach, Women and the White House commences a wider discussion about the possibility of a female president in the United States, the ways in which popular perceptions of gender will impact her leadership, and the cultural challenges she will face.  This book is the winner of the 2014 Susan Koppelman Award by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.

Popular Media

Why Presidents Must Play the Hero“- The Monkey Cage, February 17, 2014

President’s Day Guest Opinion- The Idaho Statesman, February 15, 2015