Jon Johansson is a political scientist and current chief of staff for New Zealand First. He has been a senior lecturer in political science and international relations at Victoria University of Wellington. In 2011 he contributed an introduction to a new edition of Professor Leslie Lipson’s classic study of New Zealand government and politics, The Politics of Equality: New Zealand’s Adventures in Democracy, first published in 1948, and was instrumental in bringing the book back into print. Dr Johansson’s The Politics of Possibility: Leadership in Changing Times – a study of cycles of political leadership in New Zealand politics, including a focus on challenges and opportunities facing John Key and his government – was published in August 2009, and he is also the author of Two Titans: Muldoon, Lange and Leadership, which was published in 2005, an well as editor of a special issue on ‘political leadership in New Zealand’ for Political Science. He has contributed to four previous books in this series: ‘Leadership and the Campaign’, in New Zealand Votes: The New Zealand General Election of 2002; ‘Brash, Owera and the Politics of Race’ in The Baubles of Office: The New Zealand General Election of 2005; ‘2008: Leadership during transition’ in Key to Victory: The New Zealand General Election of 2008; and ‘Leadership and ambivalence: words, deeds and the 2011 election’ in Kicking the Tyres: The New Zealand General Election and Electoral Referendum of 2011 (which he co-edited). In 2014 his book US Leadership in Political Time and Space: Pathfinders, Patriots, and Existential Heroes was published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Stephen Levine is a professor of political science at Victoria University of Wellington. He is founder of VUW’s parliamentary internship programme and has written extensively about New Zealand’s politics, elections and international relations. He has co-edited (and contributed to) books about each of New Zealand’s elections under MMP – Moments of Truth is the seventh – and was director of the New Zealand Political Change Project (1995-2003), examining the impact of MMP on New Zealand’s government and politics. In 2009 he was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for ‘services to education and the Jewish community’ and appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He served as co-editor of the New Zealand Ministry of Culture and Heritage’s theme issue, ‘Government and Nation’, launched by the Governor-General in June 2012 as part of New Zealand’s national online encyclopedia, Te Ara.