Academic Staff

Professor Anthony King

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of our colleague Professor Anthony King. He was an inspirational teacher, a great political thinker and a brilliant writer. Visit our news page for our official statement and you can leave your own tribute to Professor King on our Essex Daily blog. A full tribute to Professor King will be published in due course. For further information, contact our Communications Office via email at, or call 01206 872400.

Positions held:

1961-65 Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford

1962-63 American Council of Learned Societies Fellow in American Studies,
Columbia University, New York

1966-67 Senior Lecturer in Government, University of Essex

1966 Visiting Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

1967-69 Reader in Government, University of Essex

1969-99 Professor of Government, University of Essex

1977-78 Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences,
Stanford, California

1984 Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School,
Princeton University

1993 Visiting Scholar, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

1999- Essex County Council Millennium Professor of British Government,
University of Essex

Professional activities:

1968-71 Chairman, Department of Government, University of Essex

1969-71 Member, Committee on Governmental and Legal Processes,
Social Science Research Council (New York)

1970 Member, Executive Committee, European Consortium for Political Research

1971-76 Member, Committee on the Comparative Study of Public Policy,
Social Science Research Council (New York)

1972-77 Editor, British Journal of Political Science

1976-80 Member, Political Science and International Relations Committee,
Social Science Research Council (United Kingdom)

1976- Adjunct Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC

1978-80 Member, Editorial Board, American Political Science Review

1980-83 Member, Executive Committee, Political Studies Association of the UK

1981-84 President, Politics Association

1984-87, 1989-92 Co-editor, British Journal of Political Science

1986-89 Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic), University of Essex

1994- Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

1998- Member, Academia Europaea

2006- Honorary Life Fellow, Royal Society of Arts

2009- Associate, Institute for Government, London

2010- Fellow of the British Academy

Public service:

1994-98 Member, Committee on Standards in Public Life (Nolan/Neill Committee)

1999 Convener, Scottish Election Commission

1999-2000 Member, Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords

2005-07 Chairman, Royal Society of Arts Commission on Illegal Drugs, Communities and Public Policy


1956 B.A. in History and Economics, First-class honours, Queen's University,
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

1956-58 Rhodes Scholar, Magdalen College, Oxford

1958 B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, First-class honours,
University of Oxford

1962 D.Phil. in Politics, University of Oxford

Current research

The changing British constitution; the British prime ministership; American politics and government; the history of democracy.


The British General Election of 1964 (London: Macmillan, 1965) (with D.E. Butler)

"Britain: The Search for Leadership" in William G. Andrews, ed., European Politics I (Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1966)

British Politics: People, Parties and Parliament (Boston, MA: D.C. Heath, 1966) (editor)

The British General Election of 1966 (London: Macmillan, 1966) (with D.E. Butler)

"Political Parties in Western Democracies: Some Skeptical Reflections", Polity 2 (1969) 111-41

"Margaret Thatcher: The Style of a Prime Minister" in Anthony King, ed., The British Prime Minister: A Reader (London: Macmillan, 1969) [2nd edn. 1985]

"The Changing Tories" in John D. Lees and Richard Kimber, eds., Political Parties in Modern Britain: An Organizational and Functional Guide (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972)

"The Chief Whip's Clothes" in Dick Leonard and Valentine Herman, eds., The Backbencher and Parliament: A Reader (London: Macmillan, 1972)

Westminster and Beyond (London: Macmillan, 1973) (with Anne Sloman)

"Ideas, Institutions and the Policies of Governments: A Comparative Analysis", British Journal of Political Science 3 (1973) 291-313, 409-23

British Members of Parliament: A Self-Portrait (London: Macmillan in association with Granada Television, 1974)

"Executives" in Fred I. Greenstein and Nelson W. Polsby, eds., Governmental Institutions and Processes, Vol. 5, Handbook of Political Science (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1975)

"Overload: Problems of Governing in the 1970s", Political Studies 23 (1975) 285-96

"On Studying the Impacts of Public Policies: The Role of the Political Scientist" in Matthew Holden, Jr. and Dennis L. Dresang, eds., What Government Does, Sage Yearbooks in Politics and Public Policy, Vol. 1 (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1975)

"The Election that Everyone Lost" and "The Election that Someone Won -- More or Less" in Howard R. Penniman, ed., Britain at the Polls: The Parliamentary Elections of 1974 (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1975)

"Modes of Executive-Legislative Relations: Great Britain, France, and West Germany", Legislative Studies 1 (1976) 11-36

Why Is Britain Becoming Harder to Govern? (London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1976) (editor)

"Radicals and Whigs in the British Liberal Party, 1906-14" in William Aydelotte, ed., The History of Parliamentary Behavior (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977) (with Geoffrey Hosking)

Britain Says Yes: The 1975 Referendum on the Common Market (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1977)

The New American Political System (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1978) (editor and contributor)

"Politics, Economics, and the Trade Unions, 1974-1979" in Howard R. Penniman, ed., Britain at the Polls, 1979: A Study of the General Election (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1981)

"Referendums and the European Community" in Austin Ranney, ed., The Referendum Device (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1981)

"What Do Elections Decide?" in David Butler, Howard R. Penniman and Austin Ranney, eds., Democracy at the Polls: A Comparative Study of Competitive National Elections (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1981)

“The Rise of the Career Politician in Britain – And its Consequences", British Journal of Political Science 11 (1981) 249-85

"How to Strengthen Legislatures – Assuming that We Want To" in Norman J. Ornstein, ed., The Role of the Legislature in Western Democracies (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1981)

"How Not to Select Presidential Candidates: A View from Europe" in Austin Ranney, ed., The American Elections of 1980 (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1981)

"Whatever Is Happening to the British Party System?", Parliamentary Affairs 35 (1982), 241-51

Both Ends of the Avenue: Presidential-Congressional Relations in the 1980s (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1983) (editor and contributor)

"The Political Consequences of the Welfare State" in Shimon E. Spiro and Ephraim Yuchtman-Yaar, eds., Evaluating the Welfare State: Social and Political Perspectives (New York: Academic Press, 1983)

"Margaret Thatcher's First Term" in Austin Ranney, ed., Britain at the Polls, 1983 (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1985)

"Governmental Responses to Budget Scarcity: Great Britain", Policy Studies Journal 13 (1985) 476-93

"Sex, Power and Money: Political Scandals in Great Britain and the United States" in James Ceaser and Richard Hodder-Williams, eds., in Politics in Britain and the United States: Comparative Perspectives on Institutions and Political Culture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1985)

"The View from Europe" in Charles O. Jones, ed., The Reagan Legacy: Promise and Performance (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1988) (with David Sanders)

"Margaret Thatcher as a Political Leader" in Robert Skidelsky, ed., Thatcherism (London: Chatto & Windus, 1988)

The New American Political System, 2nd version (Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute, 1990) (editor and contributor)

"The British Prime Minister in the Age of the Career Politician", West European Politics 14 (1991) 25-47

"Good Government and the Politics of High Exposure" in Colin Campbell and Bert A. Rockman, eds., The Bush Presidency: First Appraisals (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1991) (with Giles Alston)

"Political Change in Britain" in Dennis Kavanagh, ed., Electoral Politics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992)

Britain at the Polls, 1992 (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1992) (editor and contributor)

"Foundations of Power" in George C. Edwards III, John H. Kessel and Bert A. Rockman, eds., Researching the Presidency (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993)

"Cabinet Coordination or Prime Ministerial Dominance? A Conflict of Three Principles of Cabinet Government" in Ian Budge and David McKay, eds., The Developing British Political System: The 1990s (London: Longman, 1993)

"'Chief Executives' in Western Europe" in Ian Budge and David McKay, eds., Developing Democracy: Comparative Research in Honour of J.F.P. Blondel (London: Sage Publications, 1994)

"Ministerial Autonomy in Britain" in Michael Laver and Kenneth A. Shepsle, eds., Cabinet Ministers in Parliamentary Government (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

"Did Major Win? Did Kinnock Lose? Leadership Effects in the 1992 Election" in Anthony Heath, Roger Jowell and John Curtice, eds., Labour's Last Chance? The 1992 Election and Beyond (Aldershot, Hants.: Dartmouth, 1994) (with Ivor Crewe)

"Are British Elections Becoming More 'Presidential'?" in M. Kent Jennings and Thomas E. Mann, eds., Elections at Home and Abroad: Essays in Honor of Warren E. Miller (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994) (with Ivor Crewe)

SDP: The Birth, Life and Death of the Social Democratic Party (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995) (with Ivor Crewe) [co-winner of the 1996 W.J.M. Mackenzie Prize awarded by the Political Studies Association for the best book in the field of political science published in the UK during the preceding year]

"The Vulnerable American Politician", British Journal of Political Science 27 (1997) 1-22

Running Scared: Why America's Politicians Campaign Too Much and Govern Too Little (New York: Free Press, 1997)

New Labour Triumphs: Britain at the Polls (Chatham, NJ: Chatham House, 1997) (editor and contributor)

"The Future of the Political Party" in Nelson W. Polsby and Raymond E. Wolfinger, eds., On Parties: Essays Honoring Austin Ranney (Berkeley, CA: Institute of Governmental Studies Press, 1999)

"Distrust of Government: Explaining American Exceptionalism" in Susan J. Pharr and Robert D. Putnam, eds., Disaffected Democracies: What's Troubling the Trilateral Countries? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000)

Does the United Kingdom Still Have a Constitution?, the 51st Hamlyn Lectures (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2001)

British Political Opinion 1937-2000: The Gallup Polls, compiled by Robert J. Wybrow (London: Politico's, 2001) (editor)

Britain at the Polls, 2001 (New York: Chatham House, 2001) (editor and contributor)

Leaders' Personalities and the Outcomes of Democratic Elections (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002) (editor and contributor)

"The Outsider as Political Leader: The Case of Margaret Thatcher", British Journal of Political Science 32 (2002) 435-54 [reprinted in Larry Berman, ed., The Art of Political Leadership: Essays in Honor of Fred I. Greenstein (Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)]

Britain at the Polls, 2005 (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2005) (co-editor and contributor)

“Le Social Democratic Party et le tropisme du centrisme chez les traivaillistes britanniques" in Syllvia Guillaume and Jean Garrigues, eds., Centre et Centrisme en Europe aux XIXe et XXe Siecles (Bruxelles: P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2006)

“An American in England" in Matthew J. Dickinson and Elizabeth A. Neustadt, eds. Guardian of the Presidency: The Legacy of Richard E. Neustadt (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2007)

The British Constitution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) [paperback edition with
Postscript, 2009]

“In Praise of Vagueness” in Matthew d’Ancona, ed., Being British (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 2009)

“‘Off With their Heads’: British Prime Ministers and the Power to Dismiss’, British Journal of Political Science 40 (2010) 249-78 [with Nicholas Allen]

The Founding Fathers v. the People: Paradoxes of American Democracy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012)

The Blunders of Our Governments (London: oneworld, 2013) [with. Ivor Crewe]

Study areas

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