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Brian M. Conley

Associate Professor of Government, Suffolk University
Chapter Member: Boston SSN

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About Brian

Conley received his Bachelor’s degree in History, Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1996, and his Master’s in U.S. History and PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research in New York City. His principal teaching and research interests are in the fields of American electoral politics, political marketing and public policy. Prior to coming to Suffolk, he worked in both state and national politics as a campaign manager and a strategic and organizational consultant.


In the News

"Public Health Crisis Calls for Action," Brian M. Conley, Letter to the Editor, Boston Globe, September 23, 2010.
"Massachusetts Senate Race: Pro-Democrat and Pro-Brown," Brian M. Conley (with Rachael Cobb), Common Dreams, January 31, 2010.
"Suffolk Students Take Part in Inauguration Seminar," Brian M. Conley, Interview with Staff Writers, The Beacon Hill Times, January 20, 2009.
"Obama Inauguration," Brian M. Conley, Interview with Newscasters, New England Cable News, January 20, 2009.


"Route to ’66: Ray Bliss, the 1966 Election and the Development of the Republican Service Party" American Review of Politics 31 (Summer 2010): 70-89.
Examines the party-building that occurred within the GOP after the 1964 election as a way of tracing the development at the national level of a candidate-centered and “service” oriented party model in the United States.
"Political Parties" in Encyclopedia of American Political Culture, edited by Michael Shally-Jensen (ABC Clio, 2014).
Examines the unique features and history of the U.S. party system in comparison to party systems and party types in other parts of the world.
Political Marketing in the United States (edited with Jennifer Lees-Marshment and Kenneth Cosgrove) (Routledge, 2014).
Explores how politicians and parties utilize marketing concepts and tools, providing an up-to-date and broad overview of how marketing permeates U.S. politics. The volume focuses on current and recent elections and leaders, and covers a range of topics, including market research, marketing parties and volunteers, strategy and branding, communications, delivery, and marketing in government.
"Does Obama Care?: Assessing the Delivery of Health Reform in the United States" in Political Marketing in the United States, edited by Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Kenneth Cosgrove and Brian Conley (Routledge, 2014).
Analyzes how President Obama sought to deliver health reform in 2009-2010 and the extent to which declining public support for his reforms followed from changes in how he communicated these policy proposals to the public.
"The Politics of Party Renewal: The ‘Service Party’ and the Origins of the Post-Goldwater Republican Right" Studies in American Political Development 27, no. 1 (2013): 51-67.
Examines how the process of party renewal, specifically the emergence of a national “service party” structure, helped not only to unify the GOP after the 1964 Goldwater loss, but also led to the development of a more conservative Republican Party during the second half of the 1960s.
"The Politics of Hope: The Democratic Party and the Institutionalization of the Obama Brand" in Routledge Handbook of Political Marketing, edited by Jennifer Lees-Marshment (Routledge, 2012).
Examines the challenges faced by the Democratic Party during the mid-term 2010 election in its efforts to institutionalize the momentum and branding success achieved by president Obama in 2008.
"States and the Making of the ‘Service’ Party: the Case of the Postwar Ohio Republican Party" Journal of American Studies 45, no. 3 (2011): 519-537.
Looks at the leadership of Ray Bliss within the Ohio Republican Party to explore the important role that state parties played in the development of a service style of party organization prior to the 1960s.