UMass Boston

Travis Johnston

Political Science
Assistant Professor
Wheatley Hall Floor 05

Areas of Expertise

American Politics, Legislative Institutions, Policy Policy, Political Behavior, and Research Methods


PhD, UC Berkeley, 2015
MA, UC Berkeley, 2010
MA, George Mason University, 2009
BA, UC Berkeley, 2007

Additional Information


Twitter: @travismjohnston


Travis Johnston's research and teaching interests concern questions on legislative institutions, policy-making, and electoral politics. Prior to coming to UMass Boston, Professor Johnston served as a congressional staffer as part of the American Political Science Association’s Congressional Fellowship Program (2015-2016). While on the Hill, Professor Johnston worked on a diverse set of issues ranging from education and workforce development to criminal justice reform. Access to a quality education is a key factor to understanding disparate policy outcomes, and warrants further attention in terms of legislative development and implementation. 

Professor Johnston completed his PhD in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, at UC Berkeley. His dissertation examined the incentives that drive members of Congress to allocate their finite resources on behalf of local particularism or broader policy. The multi-method project combined observational data on voting behavior, experimental evidence on constituent preferences, and an original dataset on campaign advertising to evaluate two seemingly straightforward questions: what are members doing, and how are constituents responding?