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Professor of Public Policy, Teesside University

Academic Biography

Matthew Cotton joined Teesside University as Professor of Public Policy in July 2020. Prior to that he held academic teaching and research positions in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, in Urban Studies and Planning at Sheffield University, in Sustainability at the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, and postdoctoral research posts at Exeter University, and Manchester University.

Summary of Research Interests

Matthew's research interests lie in the social and political dimensions of sustainable development in both the Global North and the Global South. His published work covers cases in the UK, Germany, Spain, USA, Australia, Japan, Mozambique, Oman and Iran. Primarily, his work examines issues of public and stakeholder engagement in ensuring socially just sustainable development outcomes. This work relates to new technologies, policies and practices in the fields of energy, climate change, waste management and public health.

He uses a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and analytical techniques including: participatory workshops, Q-methodology, elite interviewing, stakeholder surveys, and discourse analysis of print and social media. His published research includes the recent monographs: Nuclear Waste Politics (Routledge) and Ethics and Technology Assessment (Springer-Nature); the co-edited volume Governing Shale Gas (Routledge); and papers in leading international journals including: Ecological Economics, Science of the Total Environment, Energy Policy, Environment and Planning A, Climate and Development, Local Environment, Public Understanding of Science, Land Use Policy, and Energy Research and Social Science.


  • 2020–2021
    Professor of Public Policy, Teesside Universty
  • 2016–2020
    Associate Professor of Human Geography, University of York
  • 2013–2016
    Lecturer in Urban Studies and Planning, Sheffield University
  • 2011–2013
    Lecturer in Sustainability, Leeds University