Brian is an authority on the economics of local government. He has written extensively in applied economics, especially local government, publishing more than 400 articles in scholarly journals as well as 15 books. Recent books include Funding the Future (2013), Councils in Cooperation (2012), Local Government Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Advanced Anglo-American Countries (2008), The Theory and Practice of Local Government Reform (2008), Reform and Leadership in the Public Sector (2007) and Australian Local Government Economics (2006).
Brian has previously held academic appointments at the University of South Africa (1976/77), Rhodes University (1978/88), East Carolina State University (1985), Creighton University (1991), as well as Yokohama National University (2002; 2006; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014). He has secured numerous research grants, including two ARC Discovery Project grants.
Over the past two decades, Brian has worked with local government across all Australian states, largely in the area of structural change and sustainability. Brian has particular expertise in municipal mergers.