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Public Policy and Public Management (3PM)

3PM is a research hub for academics, doctoral researchers and professionals with an interest in public services including education, health and social care, policing, fire and rescue and housing

3PM is a research hub for academics, doctoral researchers and professionals with an interest in public services including education, health and social care, policing, fire and rescue and housing.

This group has particular interest in exploring design principles, organisational performance, leadership and decision-making as they apply to our public services. Northumbria University has a long standing reputation for excellence in public administration including strategic leadership for public services. Our academic and research staff have published extensively in top academic journals and collaborate widely with regional, national and international public service organisations.  

The way our public services are designed and delivered has changed dramatically over the last decade. From competition and marketisation to collaboration and localism. There is growing recognition that the complexities involved in tacking complex 'wicked issues' require a more collaborative forms of public leadership with community empowerment and localism driving innovation and service improvement.

The 3PM Research Interest Group brings together academics, researchers and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds including political science, sociology, business and management, economics and law who share an interest in public administration, public policy and public leadership. Members of this group are also engaged in related research groups including the Newcastle Living Lab and Little Heresies in Public Policy seminar series.



Staff Members:

Prof Ron Beadle;

John Blenkinsopp;

Dr Alistair Bowden;

Kristina Brown;

Ignazio Cabras;

Patrick Dawson;

Valerie Egdell;

Dr Ian Elliott;

Prof Emeritus John Fenwick;

Dr Max French;

Nermin Hamza;

Dr Melissa Hawkins;

Hannah Hesselgreaves;

Dr Alex Hope;

Lorraine Johnston (Convenor and main contact);

Prof David Jones;

Joyce Liddle;

Dr Toby Lowe;

Prof Mike Martin;

Jan Myers;

Prof John Shutt;

Dr Helen Watson;

Prof Jason Whalley;

Rob Wilson;

X Jian Wu

PhD Students:

Alistair Bulloch;

Sara Davie;

Nathan Pellow

Associate Members:

Dr John Clayton (Geography);

Prof Tracy Finch (HLS);

Dr Sarah Lonbay (Social Work & Communities);

Dr David McGuinness;

Dr Kevin Muldoon-Smith (Architecture and Built Environment);

Prof Pauline Pearson (Nursing);

Prof Mike Rowe (Criminology);

Prof Keith Shaw (Politics);

Prof Tony Webster (History)

External Members:

Dr Gareth Addidle, (Policing) University of Teesside;

Prof Huw Davies (St Andrews);

Professor Pam Dunning (Troy University, USA);

Dr Christine Esposito, University of South Wales;

Professor Richard Kerley (Emeritus, QMU, Edinburgh);

Prof Russell Mannion (Birmingham);

Professor John Mawson (University of Durham);

Professsor Gerard McElwee (University of Huddersfield);

Dr Ross Millar (Birmingham);

Dr Alyson Nicholds, Associate Professor-Staffordshire University;

Dr Fabien Pecot (University of York);

Prof Martin Powell (Birmingham);

Professor Malcolm Prowle (University of Gloucester);

Professors Willem Winden, Lori Divito, Ingrid Wakkee (Amsterdam);

Professor Morris Zombo (University of Angola)

Visiting Fellows:

Visiting Fellow - Prof John Diamond (Edgehill);

Visiting Fellow - Dr John Gibney (Birmingham);

Visiting Professor- Professor Hiroko Kudo (Chuo University, Japan);

Visiting Professor- Professor Marco Meneguzzo (Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy)

Research Seminars 

23 January 2019: Street-Level Bureaucrats and Conflicts - interpersonal vs intergroup;

27 February 2019: Localism; 5 March 2019: Street-Level Bureaucracy and Control - institutional vis-à-vis individual;

17 April 2019: Employability and Welfare; 22 May 2019: Place Leadership;

10 October 2019: The Future of Local Government and Public Sector Services and the Role of the Local Authority Lawyer;

17 October 2019: Strategic Leadership in Higher Education Institutions: What's New in Academic Research?


The Public Policy and Public Management (PPM) Signature Area (absorbing the earlier ‘Digital Business’ signature area) brings together the work of 30 academics and 27 PhD/DBAs, with track records in research, external funding and extensive partnership building. The original work of Fenwick (local government and public sector leadership), and the Digital Business area of Waring and Wainwright (NHS) and Whalley (Telecoms Policy and regulation) was aligned with the university’s MDRT of Human and Digital Design and received University funding to recruit three Vice Chancellor Fellows (Dilaver, Gerli and Goumagias). ‘Digital’ activity is relevant across all dimensions of Business, however, the major work was public sector facing hence its absorption into the broader Public Policy research area. PPM colleagues work across the University and other Faculties with colleagues from the School of Nursing, the Built Environment and Property, Geography, and Social Sciences, as well as with the AUAS Campus, Amsterdam and other UK and international HEI partnerships.


Public sector Leadership, Partnerships and Entrepreneurship

(Liddle, Shutt, Elliott and Johnston) Current work includes a comparative research project on city leadership and Universities in Newcastle, Amsterdam, and London City Regions, Mayoral Governance and Combined Authorities, Cabinet Office National Leadership Centre (Liddle, Lowe, Blenkinsopp and Hesselgreaves are leading a Northumbria/Newcastle initiative), House of Commons Centre for Partnership (Liddle is working with Universities of Oxford, Stirling, Cardiff and MMU on developing this research partnership, and £4m ESRC project bid is in development)

Regional development and public policy

(Liddle, Shutt, Johnston) -the team has been successful in securing Research England funds (2020), and provided recent research for the North East LEP on regional public finance. Other current work includes developing an evidence base on regional public policy; assessing the NE and Amsterdam City Region post-Brexit; The Borderlands and Brexit (With Prof Keith Shaw, Social Sciences); Conceptualising and operationalising Vulnerability (with Dr Addidle,Teesside), the NHS Regional Plan (with the School of Nursing, Northumbria), Reform of Public Services and LEPs, Local Industrial Strategies

Complex commissioning

(Wilson, Martin, Lowe, French, Hawkins) A new complexity-informed paradigm for the funding, commissioning and performance management of social interventions has been developed, and the team is undertaking action research programmes with public and voluntary sector funders and delivery organisations to explore how this paradigm is implemented in practice, and to support the development of a Community of Practice around this new paradigm

The Living Lab

(Wilson, Martin, Jamieson, Lowe) is an approach to innovating relationships between stakeholders in multi-agency contexts. The Lab team have successfully enabled organisations working with challenges as diverse as flooding and innovation services in the health service. Current work includes Service Innovation in EU (Horizon 20/20 CoSIE project), digital records and learning health systems for care in the NHS (Great North Care Record project), to the NE-LEP Business Growth hub.


This Signature Area now has the largest complement of public policy and management scholars in the UK and members hold significant national and international roles on key learned societies, research networks and other public policy forums for teaching and research. Both Liddle and Shutt have international profiles for their work on public service reform and critical mass and external standing has been achieved by through strategic recruitment of new colleagues with specialisms coalescing around the public sector (in particular the NHS, Local and regional policy development, Leadership, Partnership and Entrepreneurship, Liddle, Johnston, Shutt) and its overall policy direction and management. Other colleagues research into telecoms policy and regulation (Whalley), NHS and LG (Blenkinsopp and Hesselgreaves), Public Leadership, Partnerships and Entrepreneurship (Liddle, Shutt, Johnston), Public Administration and Strategic Management (Elliott), Public Policy and Regional Development (Liddle, Cabras, Shutt) , Complex Public Commissioning (Lowe, French, Hawkins, Martin, Jamieson), Mutuality and Third and Public Sectors (Myers), Strategy (Bowden) , Ageing (Egdell), Refugees and Asylums seekers (Fitzgerald), Higher Education (Jones), Sustainability (Hope), Policing and Vulnerability (X Jian Wu).

Existing expertise has been supplemented by the recruitment of The Living Lab from Newcastle University. The Lab is part of a wider European network (ENOLL) and represents a creative approach to addressing complex problems for businesses and communities through collaboration and partnership building. It works by engaging stakeholders in a co-production process, to support long-term strategic planning based on the interests of the members of the wider network, moving beyond the often narrow prescriptive, understandings and interests of the policy makers or of the organisations enacting the immediate projects/programmes using a range of visualisation and modelling techniques supported by a suite of open source and creative commons tools. The Living Lab has relationships with HEIs across the world including Monash, Tallinn, Turku, Karlstad, Ghent, Aalto, Wroclaw and Newcastle amongst others. Their recruitment has enabled this area to absorb much of the work around the former Digital Business research area into the challenges and potential disruptors in such diverse areas as health care and record keeping and mobile phone networks. PPM colleagues have relationships with HEI across the world including,for example-Tor Vergata, Italy, Tampere, Finland, Sydney, Texas, Aix-Marseille, France, Prague Economics University. Colleagues as also hold Fellowships, lead on , and have membership of significant national and international research networks on public policy and regional policy through Regional Studies Association (eg City Leadership Networks), International Institute of Administrative Sciences, European Group of Public Administration (theme leader on PS Strategy) , UK Academy of Social Sciences, Joint University Council, Public Administration Committee (Chair, and PS Diversity), Politics Studies Association, and many others.

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