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Hugh Atkinson

Dr Hugh Atkinson

Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy


Dr Hugh Atkinson is Senior Lecturer in Political Science. His teaching specialisms are in British, European and American Politics and the Politics of Sustainability and Climate Change. He teaches modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and supervises PhD students in his specialist areas of local democracy, sustainability and climate change.

His main research interests are in the areas of local democracy, sustainability and climate change. His work in these areas has been published in a range of refereed academic journals. He is the author of a number of books. These include Local Government from Thatcher to Blair: the politics of creative autonomy, co-written with Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg published by Polity Press, and Local Democracy, Civic Engagement and Community: from New Labour to the Big Society, published by Manchester University Press. He is currently co-editing (with Professor Ros Wade) The Challenge of Sustainability: Linking Politics, Learning and Education, which will be published by Policy Press in 2014.

Dr Atkinson is also a former local councillor in the London borough of Croydon.

Dr Atkinson teaches on a number of modules at undergraduate and post graduate level. At undergraduate level these include:

  • Politics, Decision Making and Democracy
  • European Politics: Continuity and Change
  • American Politics: ideology, culture and power

At postgraduate level, Dr Atkinson is a tutor on the MSc in Education for Sustainability which is a distance learning course. He also teaches on the residential element of the course for African scholars which has taken place in both Kenya and Uganda.

Dr Atkinson has two broad areas of research interest. The first is local democracy, civic engagement, community and social capital. He is the author of Local Democracy, Civic Engagement and Community which was published by Manchester University Press in 2012.

His other main research area is the politics of sustainability and the politics of climate change. He has published  work in this area in the academic journals Policy and Practice, Local Economy, and Management and Sustainability

Dr Atkinson is interested in the links between politics, learning and sustainability. He is co-editing a book on these themes with Professor Ros Wade which will be published by Policy Press in 2014.

He is a research fellow at the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems

View my publications at
  • Member of the Political Studies Associaton
  • Member of the Political Studies Association specialist group on environmental politics
  • Member of the editorial board of the journal Local Economy
  • Member of the steering group of the London Regional Centre for Expertise (RCE) in education for sustainable development
  • Member of the European Alliance of RCEs (ERA)
  • Member of the Socialist Environmental Resources Association (SERA)