Ph.D. (Public Policy), University of Chicago
B.A. (International Relations; Asian Studies), University of Wisconsin - Madison
CSDI Research Focus
Interactions between states and intergovernmental organizations, institutional origins and change, foreign policy, international relations, economic and social development, international political economy, global issues concerning natural resources, Asian politics
Former CDSI Fellow
Tana Johnson's research interests include the interactions between states and intergovernmental organizations, institutional origins and change, and foreign policy. Her dissertation, Rethinking IGO Independence: The Role of Intergovernmental Organizations in Institutional Design explores the fact that design suggestions, and even initial demands for new international institutions, can come from IGO staff themselves. In fact, many prominent organizations - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations Development Program, the International Energy Agency, and others - have been created with some degree of IGO involvement. Johnson argues that the objectives of IGO staff do not necessarily mirror those of states, and in the institutional design arena this can result in the creation of institutions that powerful states initially opposed and can less easily control. She constructs and analyzes an original dataset, as well as investigating case study evidence, to demonstrate the important yet often-overlooked impact of IGO staff in institutional design. Johnson joined Vanderbilt University's Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in fall 2009. Prior to this, she was a pre-doctoral fellow in the University of Chicago's Program on Political Institutions at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies. Other topics on which she has written or taught include: economic and social development, U.S. foreign policy, international political economy, the power of the American presidency during wartime, and global issues concerning natural resources.