Department of Political Science


Dr. Tobe Johnson

Tobe Johnson 

Dr. Tobe Johnson
Professor of Political Science

Tobe Johnson has been associated with Morehouse College for seventy years, as a student, alum, faculty member, and administrator. Dr. Johnson teaches courses on American politics, urban management, and policy analysis. Most iconically, Johnson created and taught PSC 253: Scope and Methods of Political Science for over 50 years. 

Dr. Johnson's primary research deals with the performance of Afro-American mayors. The research seeks to determine the degree of flexibility or discretion African-American mayor are able to exercise in making and implementing policy. The conceptual framework of this research is based on the assumption that the flexibility of discretion such mayors have in achieving their policy goals is constrained by the environment in which they must operate. The conceptual framework derives from several theories:  Regime Theory, Rational Choice Theory, Issue-Determines Politics Theory, and Leadership Theory. The research is important because much of the literature dealing with this problem argues that the constraints placed on the mayor by the environment will prevent him or her from significantly improving the well-being of black citizens in the city. Johnson's research in effect tests this hypothesis, and seeks to provide a systematic empirical appraisal of it. He wants to know what the limits of the flexibility of mayoral power are to achieve significant change.


Ph.D., in Government, Columbia University 1963
B.A., in Political Science, Morehouse College 1954

Selected Publications

Tobe Johnson, “The Nature and Status of Black Studies,” Proceedings of the American Council of Academic Deans (1965)

Tobe Johnson, “The Black College as System.” Daedelus, Summer 1974.

Tobe Johnson, “Black Metropolitanization,” Joint Center for Political Studies,”  (1974).

Tobe Johnson,  The Atlanta Regional Metropolitan Transit System   (3 volumes). 


Wheeler Hall, Room 303