Honorary Professor Catherine Durose

Honorary Professor Catherine Durose

Department of Public Administration and Policy
Honorary Professor of Public Policy

Catherine is an Honorary Professor of Public Policy, with a specific interest in urban governance and public policy.


  • PhD, University of Manchester, 2007
  • MA (Research), Governance and Public Policy, University of Manchester, 2004
  • BA (Hons), Politics, University of Sheffield, 2001


Catherine was the recipient of the Joni Lovenduski Prize for Outstanding Professional Achievement in a Mid-Career Scholar in 2020, awarded by the UK’s Political Studies Association. She is Chair of the Editorial Board for Local Government Studies.

Catherine’s research is interdisciplinary, spanning political science, public policy and urban studies. Catherine has published widely in leading peer-reviewed academic journals, including Political Studies, Governance, Public Administration Review and Urban Studies. She has been involved in securing and delivering research awards in excess of £3 million, from funders including UKRI.

She is well-known for her work on co-production (Designing public policy for co-production: theory, practice and change, 2016, Policy Press with Liz Richardson), and has written for Nature on how the academy can better acknowledge and value co-production in research.

Catherine is currently working to disseminate the findings from two major research awards on social innovation and co-production in urban governance: the ESRC/ Mistra Urban Futures project, ‘Jam and Justice’, and Joint Partnership Initiative Urban Europe/ ESRC project, ‘Smart Urban Intermediaries’. In parallel, she is undertaking new research on institutional design and change in urban governance, governance of the new commons, and the role of design in policy-making. These interests inform her teaching across INLOGOV’s innovative range of post-graduate programmes in public management.

In addition to her research and teaching, Catherine has held International Visiting Research Fellowships at the Great Cities Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the Institute for Governance and Policy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Tilburg University’s School of Politics and Public Administration, and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). Catherine acts as a mentor as part of various University of Birmingham and external initiatives. She has consulted to the UK government and Equality and Human Rights Commission.



Catherine is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and currently teaches on the following programmes:

  • MSc Public Management
  • Online Masters in Public Administration
  • Public Management and Leadership Blended Executive Apprenticeship 

Postgraduate supervision

Catherine is an experienced supervisor of doctoral students, and has supported many of her student to secure funded studentships.

Catherine is happy to work with prospective students to develop their research proposal, and is interested in supervising doctoral work across a range of concerns with substantive, theoretical, or methodological connections with her own research.

Current doctoral supervision:

Adriana Algarin Castillo: social accountability in Colombia (funded by Colciencias)

Matthew McKenna: blame avoidance in UK central-local relations (ESRC 1+3 studentship)

Andrew Tangang: decentralisation and community government in Cameroon (Shaun Johnson Memorial Scholarship)

Sally Ward: self-organisation and mobilisation in under-represented communities

Mega Waty: street level bureaucracy in Indonesian poverty relief programmes (funded by the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education, LPDP)


Catherine has forged an international profile for her work on street-level bureaucracy, new public governance, decentralisation, policy design, social and democratic innovation, citizen participation, and co-production. Her work has sought to understand and interrogate how government interacts with citizens and communities, and how these relationships are framed and interpreted, in order to advance or inhibit social and policy change. Empirically, Catherine’s work has been particularly focused at urban, city-regional, local, and neighbourhood levels, as important sites for government intervention and community action. In policy terms, her research has examined how to foster creative, participative and inclusive responses to address governance challenges.

Catherine is a methodological pluralist with particular expertise in qualitative, participatory and qualiquantological methods for research and analysis.

Catherine is currently researching co-production in urban governance (with Beth Perry, University of Sheffield, and Liz Richardson, University of Manchester), drawing on the Jam and Justice project. Research findings have been published in various journals, including Nature, Social Policy & Administration, and the International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

Catherine is also undertaking work on the practices of social innovation, building on the Smart Intermediaries project (with Merlijn van Hulst, Tilburg University, Oliver Escobar, University of Edinburgh, Annika Agger, Roskilde University, and Mark van Ostaijen, Erasmus University, Rotterdam). Research findings so far have been published in Public Administration Review and Urban Studies.

Catherine is continuing to work with Vivien Lowndes (University of Birmingham) on institutionalism in urban governance and public policy. They recently published in Environment and Planning C on ‘incompleteness’ in institutional design in the context of sub-regional devolution in England, and are now continuing their collaboration by looking at the intersection between street level bureaucracy and feminist institutionalism in the context of the campaign to reclassify misogyny as a hate crime in England.

Catherine is also working with Liz Richardson (University of Manchester) and Matt Ryan (University of Southampton) on governance and institutional design in the emergent commons for housing, energy and data. Pilot work has now been published in the International Journal of the Commons.

Other activities

Catherine is an elected Academic Representative for the College of Social Sciences on the University’s Senate.

She has worked with Citizens UK, a national charity using broad-based community organising to generate collective action for positive social change, contributing to the leadership group of the Birmingham chapter, and the National Council. Catherine was named ‘Organiser of the Year’ in 2016.

For her work convening Win: Win - a network by and for women in higher education - Catherine was named as a ‘Woman of Action’ as part of the ‘Making Space’ initiative in 2017, celebrating women’s leadership at the University of Birmingham.

Catherine is a member of the Editorial Board for the Australian Journal of Public Administration.


Recent publications


Durose, C & Richardson, L 2015, Designing public policy for co-production: Theory, practice and change . Policy Press, Bristol.


Durose, C, Richardson, L, Rozenburg, M, Ryan, M & Escobar , O 2021, 'Community control in the housing commons: a conceptual typology', International Journal of the Commons, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 291–304. https://doi.org/10.5334/ijc.1093

Durose, C, Perry, B, Richardson, L & Dean, R 2021, 'Leadership and the hidden politics of co-produced research: a Q-methodology study', International Journal of Social Research Methodology , pp. 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2021.1960738

Durose, C & Lowndes, V 2021, 'Why are designs for urban governance so often incomplete? A conceptual framework for explaining and harnessing institutional incompleteness', Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, vol. 39, no. 8, pp. 1773-1790. https://doi.org/10.1177/2399654421990673

Durose, C, van Ostaijen, M, Van Hulst, M, Escobar, O & Agger, A 2021, 'Working the urban assemblage: a transnational study of transforming practices', Urban Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/00420980211031431

Richardson, L, Durose, C & Perry, B 2019, 'Moving towards hybridity in causal explanation: the example of citizen participation', Social Policy and Administration, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 265-278. https://doi.org/10.1111/spol.12481

Durose, C 2019, 'Why decentralize decision-making? English local actors' viewpoints', Governance, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 159-176. https://doi.org/10.1111/gove.12365

Richardson, L, Durose, C & Perry, B 2018, 'Coproducing Urban Governance', Politics and Governance, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 145, 149. https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v6i1.1485

Durose, C, Van Hulst, M, Jeffares, S, Escobar, O, Agger, A & de Graaf, L 2016, 'Five ways to make a difference: perceptions of practitioners working in urban neighborhoods', Public Administration Review, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 576-586. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12502

Durose, C, Needham, C, Mangan, C & Rees, J 2015, 'Generating 'good enough' evidence for co-production', Evidence and Policy. https://doi.org/10.1332/174426415X14440619792955

Skelcher, C, Durose, C & Justice, J 2015, 'Governing at arm's length: eroding or enhancing democracy?', Policy and politics, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 137-153. https://doi.org/10.1332/030557314X14029325020059

Beebeejaun, Y, Durose, C, Rees, J, Richardson, J & Richardson, L 2015, 'Public harm or public value? Towards coproduction in research with communities', Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 552-565. https://doi.org/10.1068/c12116

Beebeejaun, Y, Durose, C, Rees, J, Richardson, J & Richardson, L 2014, ''Beyond text': exploring ethos and method in co-producing research with communities', Community Development Journal, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 37-53. https://doi.org/10.1093/cdj/bst008

Durose, C, Richardson, L, Dickinson, H & Williams, I 2014, 'Dos and don’ts for involving citizens in the design and delivery of health and social care', Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 326-335. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-10-2013-0039

Durose, C 2013, 'Acceptable difference: diversity, representation and pathways to UK politics', Parliamentary Affairs, vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 246-267. https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gss085

View all publications in research portal


Changing relationships between the state, communities and citizens; local decision-making, service delivery, neighbourhood working and community participation and empowerment.


Communities and Cohesion

Catherine's research focuses on urban governance and public services, with particular interests in participation, intermediation and co-production.  Her interests span governance and public policy, policy design, analysis and implementation, democracy, representation and participation, decentralisation and localism, neighbourhood working and regeneration, public service delivery and reform. 

Other information

Policy information

Catherine Durose works with practitioners and policymakers on issues related to governance and participation. For example, she has advised the now Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on participatory budgeting, community organising, and neighbourhood working.

Her Smart Urban Intermediaries project (2017-2020) - with Dr. Merlijn van Hulst (Tilburg University), Dr. Oliver Escobar (University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Annika Agger (Roskilde University) - established a trans-European community of practice, bringing together academics and practitioners from the UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Portugal through a series of local and transnational workshops, and briefings.

Through the ESRC Jam and Justice project (2016 to 2020), with Professor Beth Perry (University of Sheffield), Professor Liz Richardson (University of Manchester) as part of the Action Research Collective, Catherine was involved in engaging over 700 people and 200 organisations through over 50 briefings and events focusing on a diverse range of city regional issues and concerns in Greater Manchester. Catherine has recently been invited to share this research with audiences of public managers, policy-makers and politicians in the UK and internationally, for example as a Masterclass at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, and for the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as part of the Chief Scientific Advisor’s seminar series.

Her ESRC-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP, assessed as ‘Outstanding’) provided an alternative vision of the future of local government, the ‘Ensuring Council’ addressed the crises of capacity and legitimacy in local government. This work, undertaken in collaboration with Professor Steven Griggs (DMU) and the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE), a UK-wide not-for-profit network supporting those involved in the delivery of front-line public services, endorsed the role of local government as stewards of local wellbeing, with local decision-making that engaged the communities it serves, and impacted on policy and practice across more than 250 local authorities and organisations.