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Professor Jonathan Davies

Job: Professor of Critical Policy Studies

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Department of Politics & Public Policy

Research group(s): Local Governance Research Unit

Address: The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 7818




Personal profile

Jonathan S. Davies is Professor of Critical Policy Studies and Director of the Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (  He worked at the University of Warwick from 2001-2011, previously completing his DPhil at the University of York.  His first monograph Partnerships and regimes: the politics of urban regeneration in the UK  was published by Ashgate in 2001. His second, Challenging Governance Theory: from Networks to Hegemony was published by The Policy Press in September 2011. Jonathan publishes in leading journals including the Journal of Urban Affairs, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Environment and Planning A, Urban Studies, Political Studies, Policy & Politics and Public Administration.  His research interests span critical issues in governance, urban studies and public policy. In addition to developments in governance theory, Jonathan is also working on a number of projects on crisis and austerity governance. He holds a major ESRC grant (see, leading an international consortium of researchers in a comparative study of austerity governance. Jonathan welcomes applications from prospective PhD students in these research areas.


Twitter accounts:


Research group affiliations

Centre for Urban Research on Austerity -

Publications and outputs 

Click here to see a full listing of Professor Jonathan Davies's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Davies J S and Msengana-Ndlela L G, 2014, ‘Urban Power and Political Agency: Reflections on a Study of Local Economic Development in Johannesburg and Leeds’, Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning. Published online before print, 26.9.14. DOI: 10.1016/j.cities.2014.09.001. 

Davies J S, 2014, ‘Rethinking Urban Power and the Local State: Hegemony, Domination and Resistance in Neoliberal Cities’. Urban Studies. 2014/15. Published online before print 1.10.13.  DOI: 10.1177/004209801350515.

Davies J S and Spicer A, 2014, “Interrogating Networks: Towards an Agnostic Perspective on Governance Research”. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. Advance online publication, DOI:10.1068/c11292.

Davies J S,2014,‘Coercive Cities: Reflections on the Dark Side of Urban Power in the 21st Century’. Journal of Urban Affairs. 36(S2): 590-599.

Davies J S, 2013, ‘Just do it differently? ‘Everyday making, Marxism, and the struggle against neoliberalism’, Policy & Politics41(4): 497-513. 40th Anniversary special edition. 

Davies J S, 2012, ‘Network Governance Theory: A Gramscian Critique’. Environment and Planning A, 44(11), 2687 – 2704. 

Davies J S and Pill M, 2012, “Hollowing Out Neighbourhood Governance? Rescaling Revitalization in Baltimore and Bristol” Urban Studies, 49(10), 2199-2217. 

Davies J S, 2012, Active Citizenship: Navigating the Conservative Heartlands of the New Labour Project’. Policy & Politics, 40(1), 3-19. 

Davies J S, 2011, Challenging Governance Theory: From Networks to Hegemony. Bristol, Policy Press. 

Davies J S, 2009,  'The limits of joined-up government: towards a political analysis', Public Administration, 87(1), 80-96.    

Davies J S, 2007, 'The limits of partnership: an exit-action strategy for local democratic inclusion', Political Studies, 55(4), 2007, 779-800.

Research interests/expertise

Critical approaches to governance, public policy and urban studies. Governing and contesting austerity.  Applications from prospective PhD students welcome in these areas.

Areas of teaching

Governance and public policy


DPhil (York)

Courses taught


Honours and awards

Best paper award for paper presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, April 2002: Davies J S 'Partnerships versus Regimes: Why Regime Theory Cannot Explain Urban Coalitions in the UK', Journal of Urban Affairs, 25, 2003, 253-269. 

Warwick Business School Excellence in Publishing Award, 2004:  Davies J S (2004) Conjuncture or Disjuncture? An Institutionalist Analysis of Local Regeneration Partnerships in the UK. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 28(3) 570-585.

Membership of external committees

Elected member of the Governing Board of the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) (2014-17)

Member of the UAA Publications Committee (2015-16)

Member of the UAA Journal of Urban Affairs Strategic Development Committee

Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Urban Affairs

Member of the ESRC Peer Review College

Membership of professional associations and societies

Political Studies Association (UK)

Urban Affairs Association (USA)


We are funded by the ESRC to study collaborative governance under austerity in eight cities - Athens, Baltimore, Barcelona, Dublin, Leicester, Melbourne, Montreal and Nantes. See for further details. Towards the end of the project in summer 2017, we will produce a report for respondents and stakeholders, for discussion at local commissions to be hosted in each participating city.   

Forthcoming events

Inaugural conference of the Centre for Urban Research on Austerity 18th and 19th November 2015. See for the  programme.  Conference report at

Current research students

Robert Ogman (2013-):

Ruth Lorimer (October 2015 -) 

Externally funded research grants information

Principal Investigator: ESRC funded consortium project (ES/L012898/1), Collaborative Governance under Austerity: An eight-case Comparative Study. £435,131 - April 2015-September 2017.

External advisor: Norwegian Research Council funded project led by the Norwegian Institute of Urban and Regional Research, studying network governance in Russia (2013-2016).

Winner: Urban Studies Foundation and Urban Studies seminar series competition 2013 - Lead Applicant: £19,304 to host conference “Interrogating Urban Crisis” 9-11 September 2013 at De Montfort University. 

Investigator: Spanish Research Council funded consortium led by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, studying austerity governance in Spain and the UK (2012-15).

Principal Investigator: £45,000 from the ESRC for ‘Interpreting the local politics of social exclusion (2004-5).

Co-applicant for £500,000 as part of a multi-institution research consortium led by Mike Geddes (Warwick) to deliver ODPM national evaluation of Local Strategic Partnerships (2002-5).

Professional esteem indicators

Elected member of the Urban Affairs Association Governing Board: March 2014-March 2017. See

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