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Mike Makin-Waite

ISRF Associated Academic, Independent Social Research Foundation

Mike Makin-Waite worked in local government for over thirty years. He led Burnley Council’s work to promote community cohesion and good race relations during the decade when the BNP was represented on the council.

Makin-Waite is now an Independent Social Research Foundation Associated Academic (2019-22). He has researched the causes and consequences of the ‘northern town disturbances’ of 2001, focussing on the social trauma of deindustrialisation and the rise of right-wing populism in northern England. His new book On Burnley Road tracks long-term social and political shifts that have resulted in Brexit and Labour’s loss of ‘red wall’ seats.

Makin-Waite’s first book, Communism and Democracy, was praised by reviewers as ‘fresh and unflinching … ‘highly readable and stimulating’. He has written for the journals Soundings, Twentieth Century Communism, Socialist History, Radical Philosophy, New Humanist, and Historical Materialism.


  • –present
    Independent Scholar Fellow between April 2019 and March 2020, ISRF