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Professor of Government (Emeritus) University of Manchester and Research Associate, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge

Colin's main area of expertise in is public services and public management reform. He has recently completed major international comparative studies on the creation of arms-length agencies (for the UK government and ESRC); of the use of performance reporting systems (for the National Audit Office); and of budget participation and scrutiny systems (for the Scottish Parliament). Colin has advised Parliamentary Committees on performance and public spending issues for the Treasury, Public Administration and Welsh Affairs Committees.

Colin has advised a wide range of international public sector organisations and/or carried out research in countries as diverse as Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, Tanzania, India, Bangladesh, Japan, Hong Kong, Malta and Sweden and spoken at conferences and seminars in over two dozen countries.

Colin has had an unconventional career - he left school at 16 and worked in various jobs before going to Manchester University as an undergraduate at 21. After Manchester he worked in a variety of mainly public sector posts before completing an MSc in Public Sector Management at Southbank University (with Distinction) and then becoming a senior lecturer in 1990 at Southbank. He completed a PhD at the London School of Economics before becoming Chair of Public Policy and Management at Glamorgan University in 1995 and Chair of Public Policy at Nottingham in 2003 and now Chair of Public Policy and Management at Manchester Business School.


  • –present
    Professor of Government, University of Manchester


  • 1995 
    London School of Economics, PhD in Public Sector Management