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Our People

Professor John Mawson

BSc, MPhil, MRTPI, FAcSS, FeRSA, FeHEA

Director of the Institute for Local Governance

Professor Mawson holds a Chair in Durham University Business School and has been Director of the Institute for Local Governance since 2010.

Biography

John Mawson is Director of the Institute for Local Governance (ILG) which is a research and knowledge exchange partnership operating across the North East, from the Scottish Borders to Teesside. He has a multi disciplinary academic, professional and management background having worked as a town planner for Strathclyde Regional Council and subsequently as Director of Economic Development at West Midlands County Council and was Chief Executive of the pioneering West Midlands Enterprise Board Ltd., a local authority controlled venture capital institution.

In the academic world John held the position of Director of the MBA programmes in the School of Public Policy at Birmingham University. He went on to serve as Professor and Head of the School of Town and Regional Planning at Dundee University, and Professor and Group Convenor of Public Policy and Management at Aston Business School. More recently he worked as Director of the Local Government Centre at Warwick Business School, which over a decade carried out a wide range of policy analyses and evaluations for central government departments, the National Audit Office, the Audit Commission and local government. The Centre also ran the Warwick Local Authority Research Consortium and various Social Exclusion Networks involving leading councils (including Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Bristol) in research focusing on innovations in policy and service delivery. In carrying out this research agenda the Centre adopted coproduction methods of engaging elected members, officers and academics in the work.

Professor Mawson currently holds a Chair in Durham Business School and has been Director of the Institute for Local Governance, since 2010. This is a regional research and knowledge exchange intermediary which sources University research expertise for its public sectors from North East Academics. Since its establishment in 2009 it has brokered and/or delivered some 97 research projects worth over £2,000,000, raised a further £600,000 for its Partners and organised 203 knowledge exchange events involving 5,100 participants held across the North East. Of particular note are region-wide projects delivered for North East Councils including the impact of enhanced Scottish Devolution on the North East; the consequences of public expenditure cuts on the region; the monitoring of welfare reform; the provision of mental health services for children and young people; and Borderlands strategic collaboration.

In the world of practice John Mawson served on the Board of several partnerships and community initiatives including the West Midlands Technology Transfer Centre, Warwick Science Park, Greets Green New Deal for Communities, and Youth Homeless North East. His consultancy work has involved leading the successful London wide bid to establish the London Development Agency, undertaking two central government evaluations of Regional Development Agencies and he was a member of the Cabinet Office Team which prepared the Labour Government’s decentralisation strategy for the Civil Service: Reaching Out.

He worked on a voluntary basis to develop a support infrastructure for social enterprises in the West Midlands. This included Chairing the West Midlands Social Economy Partnership, a £3.5 million central government funded action research programme involving 21 business projects, and latterly establishing Social Enterprise West Midlands, the development agency and regional voice for the sector involving some 450 businesses. Based on the above experience he served as a Board Member of the ESRC’s Third Sector Research Centre. Since coming to the North East, John has been involved in commissioning and delivering a number of research projects and knowledge exchange activities for ILG partners involving charitable, voluntary and community organisations.

Professor Mawson has published several books and over a hundred journal articles together with official publications on the management of cities and regions. He has secured some 12 Research Council grants and raised over £4 million of grants from central and local government, the voluntary sector, research foundations and the ESRC. The latter projects have included a study of the restructuring of the West Midlands economy; innovation in local economic development; an evaluation of Government Offices in the English Regions; Skills for Sustainable Communities in Contested Cities with F, Gaffikin, Queens, Belfast; research collaboration between Universities and local government. For the Arts and Humanities Research Council he secured a research contract with Professor Martin Laffin DUBS, on Connecting Local Communities to the Nation: A Review of Relationships between Local Communities and National Policy Systems. He has recently completed, with Professor Tony Chapman et. al. a research report 'How to Work Effectively with the Third Sector for Public Sector organisations' based on two ESRC IAA projects.

Reflecting his experience at the research practice interface, he served as Special Advisor to the House of Commons Environment Committee on regeneration issues and Chaired the Local Authority Research Council Initiative (LARCI) concerned with research and knowledge exchange between Universities and central and local government. His Chairmanship of LARCI saw the negotiation of the first National Research Concordat between the Research Councils, central government and national local government bodies. In the North East he is a Board Member of the Centre for Translational Research for Public Health and a Trustee of Youth Homeless North East.

Research Interests

  • Regional and local economic development
  • Management of Cities and Regions
  • Public sector management and local governance
  • Social enterprise
  • Theory and practice of knowledge exchange between academia and practice

Research Groups

Publications

    Authored book

  • Mawson, J. & Tomaney, J. (2002). England: The State of the Regions. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Mawson, J., Bridges, T., Edwards, D. & Tunnell, C. (2001). Strategy Development and Partnership Working in the Regional Development Agencies. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Regeneration Research Series. London.
  • Mawson, J. & Pearce, G. et. al. (2000). Devolved Approaches to Local Governance: Policy and Practice in Neighbourhood Management. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Mawson, J. & Hall, S. (1999). Challenge Funding, Contracts and Area Regeneration. Policy Press.
  • Mawson, J. & Bradbury, J. (1997). British Regionalism and Devolution. The Challenge of State Reform and European Integration. London: Taylor Francis.
  • Mawson, J. & Spencer, K. et. al. (1986). Crisis in the Industrial Heartland: A Study of the West Midlands. Oxford University Press.
  • Chapter in book

  • Mawson, J (2002). Institutional Collaboration in the West Midlands Region. In The State of the Regions. Mawson, J & Tomaney, J Policy Press. 63-80.
  • Mawson, J (2000). Devolution and the English Regions. In Building a Competitive Region: Regional Development Agencies and Business Change. Bentley, G & Gibney, J Aldershot: Ashgate. 13-38.
  • Mawson, J (2000). Joined-up Government and the Democratic region. In The Democratic Region. Dungey, J & Newman, I London: Local Government Information Unit. 33-54.
  • Mawson, J (2000). Transforming the democratic region. In Transforming British Government. ESRC Whitehall Programme. Rhodes, R Macmillan. 2: 223-236.
  • Mawson, J (1999). The English regions and the wider constitutional and administrative reforms. In The New Regional Agenda. Dungey, J & Newman, I London: Local Government Information Unit. 85-98.
  • Mawson, J (1998). English Regionalism and New Labour. In Remaking the Union. Devolution and British Politics in the 1990s. Elcock, H & Keating, M Frank Cass. 188-195.
  • Mawson, J (1998). Britain: the rise of the regional agenda to combat increased fragmentation? In Regions in Europe. LeGales, P & Lequesne, C Routledge. 219-328.
  • Mawson, J (1997). Les regions pour cordonner les agencies? Une nouvelle experience das le laboratoire Britannique d'administration publique. In Les Paradoxes des Regions en Europe. LeGales, P & Lequesne, C Paris: La Decouverte. 219-236.
  • Mawson, J. (1996). Politique de la Ville et Quasi-contrats en Angleterre. In La Cooperation Contractuelle et Le Government Des Villes. Marcou, G, Rangeon, F & Thiebault, J.L. L'Harmattan. 385-420.
  • Mawson, J & Collinge, C (1994). The Formation of Local Economic Policies. In Developments in Economics. Atkinson, G.B.J. Causway Press. 99-118.
  • Mawson, J, Booth, M & Smith, B.M.D. (1993). The West Midlands. In Regional EconomicProspects: Analysis and Forecasts to the year 2005 for the Standard Planning Regions of the UK. Cambridge Econometrics. 119-132.
  • Mawson, J & Smith, B.M.D. (1992). The West Midlands Economy. In Regional Economic Outlook Analysis and Forecast to the year 2000. Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre and Oxford Economic Forecasting. 91-102.
  • Mawson, J & Marshall, M (1987). The West Midlands. In Regional Problems, Problem Regions and Public Policy in the UK. Damesick, P & Wood, P Oxford University Press. 95-124.
  • Mawson, J & Miller, D (1986). The Alternative Regional Strategy: a New Regional Policy for Labour. In Rethinking Socialist Economics. Nolan, P & Paine, S Polity Press in association with Basil Blackwell. 234-252.
  • Mawson, J & Miller, D (1986). Interventionist Approaches in Local Employment and Economic Development: the Experience of Labour Local Authorities. In Critical Issues in Urban Economic Development. Hausner, V Clarendon Press. 145-199.
  • Mawson, J & Gibney, J (1985). English and Welsh Local Authorities and the European Community. In Regions in the European Community. Keating, M & Jones, B Clarendon Press. 133-159.
  • Mawson, J & Miller, D (1985). Employment. In Between Centre and Locality: The Poitics of Public Policy. Ransome, S, Jones, G & Walsh, K Allen and Unwin. 261-285.
  • Mawson, J, Gibney, J & Martins, M (1985). The Development of the European Community Regional Policy. In Regions in the European Community. Keating, M & Jones, B Clarendon Press. 20-59.
  • Mawson, J (1983). Organising for Economic Development: the Formulation of Local Authority Policies in West Yorkshire. In Urban Economic Development. Young, K & Mason, C Macmillan.
  • Journal Article

  • McGuinness, D. & Mawson, J. (2017). The rescaling of sub-national planning: Can localism resolve England’s spatial planning conundrum?. Town Planning Review 88(3): 283-303.
  • Laffin, M., Mawson, J. & Ormston, C. (2014). Public services in a “post-democratic age” an alternative framework to network governance.. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 32(4): 762-776.
  • Wilson, R., Cornford, J., Baines S. & Mawson, J. (2011). New development: Information for Localism? Policy Sense-making for Local Governance. Public Money and Management 31(4): 295-299.
  • Mawson, J. (2010). Social Enterprise, Strategic Networks and Regional Development.. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 30(1/2): 66-83.
  • Mawson, J. & Pearce, G. (2009). Governance in the English Regions: moving beyond muddling through?. International Journal of Public Sector Management 22(7): 623-641.
  • Mawson, J. (2009). Local Government Economic Development and the Sub National Review Old Wine in New Bottles?. Local Government Studies 35(1): 39-59.
  • Mawson, J., Pearce, G. & Ayres, S. (2008). Regional Governance in England: A Changing Role for the Government's Regional Offices?. Public Administration 86(2): 443-463.
  • Mawson, J. (2007). Research Councils, Universities and Local Government – Building Bridges?. Public Money and Management 27(4): 265-273.
  • Mawson, J. (2007). Regional Governance in England: Past Experience, Future Direction?. International Journal of Public Sector Management 20(6): 548-558.
  • Mawson, J. & Pearce, G. (2003). Delivering devolved approaches to local governance.. Policy and Politics 31(1): 51-67.
  • Mawson, J. & Jeffrey C. (2002). Beyond the White Paper on the English Regions. Regional Studies 36(7): 715-720.
  • Mawson, J. & Hall, S. (2000). Joining it up locally? Area regeneration and holistic government in England. . Regional Studies 34(1): 67-74.
  • Mawson, J & Hall, S (1999). Joined-up regeneration. Does the New Commitment to Regeneration signal the way ahead? New Economy 6(4): 209-214.
  • Mawson, J. (1998). English Regionalism and New Labour.. Regional and Federal Studies, Special Issue on Devolution and the Regions 8(1): 158-175.
  • Mawson, J. & Spencer, K. (1998). Government offices and policy co-ordination in the English regions.. Local Governance 24(2): 101-109.
  • Mawson, J. (1998). The new territorial politics and administration and the issues and challenges for local government.. Local Governance 23(3): 195-204.
  • Tilson, B., Mawson, J., Beazley, M., Burfitt, A., Collinge, C., Hall, S., Loftman, P., Nevin, B. & Srbljanina, A. (1997). Partnerships for Regeneration: The Single Regeneration Budget Challenge Fund Round One.. Local Government Studies 23(1): 1-15.
  • Mawson, J. & Spencer, K. (1997). The Government Offices for the English Regions: towards regional governance?. Policy and Politics 25(1): 71-84.
  • Mawson, J. (1997). New Labour and the English Regions: a missed opportunity?. Local Economy 12(3): 194-202.
  • Mawson, J & LeGales, P. (1996). Contracts versus competitive bidding: rationalising urban policy programmes in England and France. Journal of European Public Policy 2(2): 205-242.
  • Mawson, J (1996). The re-emergence of the regional agenda in the English regions: new patterns of urban and regional governance? Local Economy 10(4): 300-326.
  • Mawson, J, Hall, S & Nicholson, B (1995). City Pride: the Birmingham Experience. Local Economy 10(2).
  • Mawson, J & LeGales, P (1995). French Urban Policy: the implications regeneration policies in the English Regions. Planning Practice and Research 10(3/4).
  • Mawson, J. & LeGales, P (1994). Le dilemma des pouvoirs dans les villages et en France et en Grande-Bretagne. Pouvoir Locaux 23(4): 64-67.
  • Mawson, J, Jepson, D & Marshall, M (1984). Economic Regeneration in the West Midlands: the role of the County Council. Local Government Policy Making 10(4): 61-72.
  • Mawson, J (1984). Local Responses to Unemployment: The Bradford Experience. Local Government Policy Making 10(3): 28-36.
  • Mawson, J (1984). Local Responses to Unemployment: The Leeds Approach. Local Government Policy Making 10(4): 13-21.
  • Mawson, J & Miller, D (1983). A New Look at Regional Planning. Town and Country Planning 52(1): 14-15.
  • Mawson, J & Miller, D (1983). The Co-operative Experience. Town and Country Planning 52(10): 262-263.
  • Mawson, J & Miller, D (1983). The Regional Debate in the Labour Party. Regional Studies 17(5): 362-366.
  • Mawson, J & Miller, D (1983). Public Enterprise for the West Midlands. Town and Country Planning 52(4).
  • Mawson, J & Martins, M (1983). The Development of the Programme Approach in the Common Regional Policy. Town Planning Review 63-82.
  • Mawson, J (1982). Changing Directions in Regional and Local Economic Policy: The West Midlands Experience. Planning Outlook 25(3): 94-99.
  • Mawson, J & Martins, M (1982). The Programming of Regional Development in the EEC: Supra-national or International Decision Making? Journal of Common Market Studies XX(3): 229-244.
  • Mawson, J & Martins, M (1981). Regional Trends in the European Community and the Revision of the Common Regional Policy. Built Environment 6(2): 145-152.
  • Mawson, J, Norton, A & Boynton, Sir John (1981). Local Government Action Against Unemployment. Local Government Studies 7(5): 5-20.
  • Mawson, J (1981). Changing Directions in Regional Policy and the Implications for Local Government. Local Government Studies 7(2): 68-74.
  • Mawson, J & Martins, M (1981). The Revision of the European Regional Development Fund Regulation. Built Environment 7(3./4): 190-199.
  • Mawson, J (1981). Local Economic Planning in the 1980s? Local Government Studies 7(4): 3-12.
  • Mawson, J & Skelcher, C (1980). Updating the West Midlands Regional Strategy: A Review of Inter-Authority Relations. Town Planning Review 2: 152-170.
  • Mawson, J & Martins, M (1980). The Evolution of EEC Regional Policy - Cosmetics or Major Surgery? Local Government Studies 4: 29-56.
  • Report

  • Chapman, Tony , Mawson, John , Robinson, Fred & Wistow, Jonathan (2018). How to Work Effectively with the Third Sector. A discussion paper for public sector organisations. . Durham, Institute for Local Governance, Durham University.
  • Mawson, J. (2015). The Experience of Local Investment Companies and their Potential Contribution to a National Investment Bank. Labour Party Policy Commission.
  • Mawson, J., Laffin, M. & Ormston, C. (2012). Connecting Local Communities to the Nation: A Review of Relationships between Local Communities and National Policy Systems. AHRC.
  • Mawson, J., Davis, H., Ritters, K. & Tricker, M. (2010). 'Its a Culture Thing'. The Challenge of Change - Customer Services in Local Government. Institute for Customer Services.
  • Mawson, J., Gaffikin, F. & Sterrett, K. (2009). Skills for Communities in Contested Cities. ESRC.
  • Mawson, J. (2009). Oral and Written Evidence submitted to House of Commons Justice Committee. Devolution A Decade on. 5th Report of Session 2008-09.
  • Mawson, J. & Fuller, C. (2008). Local Strategic Partnerships. Managing Performance and Resources - An Evaluation. Audit Commission.
  • Mawson, J. (2008). Review of the West Midlands. Local Government Association Management Review. WMLGA.
  • Mawson, J. (2007). Ovenden and Mixenden Initiative. Round 2 Neighbourhood Pathfinder Report. Department for Communities and Local Government.
  • Mawson, J. (2006). The Ovenden and Mixenden Initiative. Round 2 Neighbourhood Pathfinder Evaluation Report. Department for Communities and Local Government.
  • Mawson, J. (2006). Neighbourhood Management and Social Capital. Neighbourhood Pathfinder Evaluation Report. Department for Communities and Local Government.
  • Mawson, J, & Snape, S. (2005). The Role of Regional Assembly Members (private, public, third sector). English Regions Network.
  • Mawson, J. (2005). The Regional Agenda. Where Next? The Implications for Local Government. Warwick Local Authority Research Consortium.
  • Mawson, J. & Snape, S. (2005). The Integration of Regional Strategies. English Regions Network.
  • Mawson, J. (2005). Ovenden Initiative. Round 2 Neighbourhood Pathfinder Evaluation Report. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
  • Mawson, J. (2005). The Regions and Whitehall. English Regions Network.
  • Mawson, J. & Snape, S. (2005). Policy and Decision Making in English Regional Assemblies. English Regions Network.
  • Mawson, J., Pearce, G. & Ayres, S. (2005). Emerging Patterns of Governance and Regional Development. ESRC.
  • Mawson, J. & Snape, S. (2005). The Implementation of Regional Spatial Strategies. English Regions Network.
  • Mawson, J. & Snape, S. (2004). An Analysis of the Membership of Regional Assemblies. English Regions Network.
  • Mawson, J, Roberts, P., Ove Arup & et al (2001). Evaluation of Regional Development Agency Strategies. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
  • Mawson, J (2000). Regional Variations. Report of the LGA's Hearing on the State of the Regions. LGA.
  • Mawson, J & IPSOS RSL (2000). Reaching Out: The Role of Central Government at Regional and Local Levels. HMSO.
  • Mawson, J & Saunders, W (2000). Review of the West Midlands Regional Chamber. West Midlands Local Government Association.
  • Mawson, J, Christie, I & Local Futures Group (1998). A Strategic Framework for London -the Integration of European Structural Funds. Association of London Government and European Union.
  • Mawson, J (1997). Capital Choices. Regional Development Agency Proposal: A co-ordinated London response. Association of London Government.
  • Mawson, J. & Beazley, M. (1995). 'Single Regeneration Budget Challenge Fund Round One'. Memorandum of Evidence submitted to the House of Common Environment Committee. Single Regeneration Budget. First Report Vol II Session 1995-96.
  • Mawson, J & LeGales, P (1994). Management Innovations in Urban Policy. Lessons from France. Local Government Management Board.
  • Mawson, J (1986). Crisis in the Industrial Heartland: The West Midlands. ESRC.
  • Mawson, J (1986). Innovative Approaches in Local Government Economic Development. ESRC.
  • Mawson, J (1984). Innovative Approaches to Local Economic Development: A 'Best Practice' comparative study. West Midlands County Council.
  • Mawson, J. (1982). Written and Oral Evidence submitted to the House of Lords Committee of European Communities. Session 1981-82. 12th Report. 'Revision of the European Regional Development Fund'.
  • Mawson J. (1981). Memorandum of Evidence submitted to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities. Session 1980-81 14th Report. 'Regional Policy'. HMSO.
  • Mawson, J. (Accepted). Written and Oral Evidence submitted to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities. Session 1983-84. 23rd Report 'European Development Fund'.

Contact Details

Director of the Institute for Local Governance
+44 191 3349295