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Dr Ian Cook

Senior Lecturer

Department: Social Sciences

Ian has worked in the Department of Social Sciences since 2011. Prior to this he worked as a University Teacher at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool; a Research Associate at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth; and a Research Fellow/Associate at the School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester. He works across the disciplines/fields of geography, urban studies and criminology.

Ian Cook

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Ian's research focuses on cities, with a particular emphasis on four issues: (1) policy mobilities; (2) sex work; (3) fictional cities and crime; and (4) the temporality of cities.

  • Policy mobilities: Ian is interested in how models of ‘best practice’ are constructed and how these move and mutate between places. His research has examined how different models of urban development and regeneration (e.g. Business Improvement Districts, suburban developments, waterfront regeneration, sporting mega-events) are circulated and introduced into new places. A key part of this research involves looking at the methods through which policymakers learn about policies elsewhere, focusing in particular on study tours, conferences and award ceremonies.
  • Sex work: Ian has worked on a number of projects about sex work, many with an urban focus. These projects include looking at how clients of sex work are policed (and the use of John Schools in the UK); the international circulation of sex work policy models; the role of platforms within contemporary sex work; and activism by sex work academics. 
  • Fictional cities and crime: Ian is examining the ways in which crime dramas and crime fiction represent cities. He has explored this through an analysis of the crime drama Breaking Bad and is currently analysing these issues in Ian Rankin's long-running John Rebus novels.
  • The temporality of cities: He is currently writing about the relationship between time and cities. Here he is exploring the role of time in the policing of urban sex work as well as how the issue of time runs through urban crime fiction.   

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Platforms, sex work and their interconnectedness, Swords, J., Laing, M., Cook, I. 18 May 2021, In: Sexualities
  • Victims, witnesses and the criminal justice system, Davies, P., Cook, I. 2021, An Introduction to Criminology, London, SAGE
  • Conferences, award ceremonies and the showcasing of ‘best practice’: A case study of the annual European Week of Regions and Cities in Brussels, Andersson, I., Cook, I. 1 Dec 2019, In: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
  • Criminological policy mobilities and sex work: Understanding the movement of the ‘Swedish model’ to Northern Ireland, McMenzie, L., Cook, I., Laing, M. 1 Sep 2019, In: British Journal of Criminology
  • Inside mobile urbanism: cities and policy mobilities, Temenos, C., Baker, T., Cook, I. Jun 2019, Handbook of Urban Geography, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar
  • Sex work, sensory urbanism and visual criminology: Exploring the role of the senses in shaping residential perceptions of brothels in Blackpool, Cooper, E., Cook, I., Bilby, C. May 2018, In: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
  • Showcasing Vällingby to the world: post-war suburban development, informational infrastructures, and the extrospective city, Cook, I. 2018, In: Planning Perspectives
  • Suburban policy mobilities: Examining North American post-war engagements with Vällingby, Stockholm, Cook, I. 2018, In: Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography
  • Television drama and the urban diegesis: Portraying Albuquerque in Breaking Bad, Cook, I., Ashutosh, I. 28 May 2018, In: Urban Geography
  • Tour guides and the hosting of policy tourism: Show and tell in Vällingby and Växjö, Cook, I., Andersson, I. 2018, Globala flöden och lokala praktiker – policymobilitet i tid och rum, Årsboken Ymer, Stockholm, Svenska Sällskapet för Antropologi och Geografi

PGR Supervision

Laura McMenzie Models on the Move: The Mobilities of Swedish and Dutch Sex Work Policies Start Date: 01/10/2015


  • Geography PhD September 01 2008
  • Fellow of Advance HE

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