James Rees

Research Fellow 

Dr James Rees’ research interests are located in the field of social policy and third sector studies and his research explores and seeks to understand the transformations that are occurring in the delivery of public services in the UK. He focuses on the role of the third sector in service delivery, cross-sectoral partnership, organisational change and the role of citizens and service users, drawing on a range of theoretical traditions in the fields of governance and organisational studies.

James joined TSRC in February 2011 and has worked on the Service delivery research stream with David Mullins and Tony Bovaird, with whom he has carried out research on third sector partnerships for service delivery. With Rebecca Taylor, he has researched the third sector’s role in the Work Programme through 'The third sector delivering employment services'. The main research report was published in February 2013. Research from autumn 2012 has focused on shifts in public services associated with the new commissioning landscape, and its implications for the third sector - see 'Commissioning and the third sector'.

James' broader academic interests are in urban and regional governance, with a particular focus on the politics of city-regionalism; critical perspectives on urban housing market restructuring and housing policy; and broadly on issues in urban regeneration, neighbourhoods and community.


Before joining TSRC James was a researcher at the Institute for Economic Governance at the University of Manchester. He completed his PhD entitled ‘Housing Market Renewal: Gentrification or Mixed Sustainable Communities?’ at Manchester in 2007.  Prior to that he was a research assistant at the Centre for Urban Policy Studies, also at the University of Manchester. He has researched extensively on sub-national governance in work funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the European Commission (ESPON); and by other public bodies such as the Northern Way and Manchester City Council. He has a track record of research on communities, neighbourhoods and the voluntary and community sector, including the national evaluation of New Deal for Communities (for ODPM), evaluation of community contracts (CLG), voluntary sector delivery of public services and their role in tackling worklessness (for North West regional bodies), and on housing policy, practice and equalities for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).


PhD (Planning and Landscape) University of Manchester, 2007

MA (International Relations and Development Studies) University of East Anglia, 2001
MA (Geography) University of Oxford, 1999.


Soon to be published 

  • Rees, J. and Lord, A. ‘Leaving the city region behind: The growth and decline of metropolitan rescaling in Manchester, England.’ chapter in Shield, Lord and Jones (eds) City-Regions in Prospect? exploring the meeting points between place and practice, Montreal: McGill-Queens, to be published in 2015.

Please contact James for copies of these in advance of publication.

Recent Journal Articles and Chapters

Selected Research Reports

See Also