Michael is a governance and public administration specialist whose research has covered a variety of themes. Initially, he focused on quangos, which was the subject of his M.Phil thesis.
In this first three research appointments and his PhD studies local government issues were the dominant interest, a theme which covered work on issues as diverse as the executive and scrutiny reforms; member allowances; the role(s) of local councillors; local elections; departmentalism; community appraisals; consultations; ward boundary changes; and history and structure.
Since arriving at Liverpool he has developed a strong interest in UK devolved governance and latterly has extended his focus towards themes with a more managerial emphasis, particularly students' unions, workplace issues and public leadership in China. In addition, at various points in his career he has also researched and published on several other themes, specifically the NHS, the UK Parliament, national and regional elections. the UK Civil Service and the Chinese Stock Market.
Michael received his BSc in Politics from the University of Southampton in 1985. He stayed at Southampton for his M.Phil thesis on the accountability of quangos, which he received in 1991. He also has a MSc in information science from City University (1990) and a PhD on local government modernisation from the University of Plymouth (2008). He has held full-time research appointments at the universities of Glamorgan, Northumbria, Exeter and Plymouth; and undertaken consultancy projects for several public sector organisations. He joined ULMS in May 2007, initially to teach on the Masters in Public Administration (MPA). He currently teaches students taking a range of business-related degrees.