Dr James Hickson

Post-doctoral Research Associate


Dr James Hickson is a political theorist, and policy researcher, working at the interface of politics, philosophy, and economics.

His research focuses on three interconnected themes:

  1. Insecure work – exploring the significance, and implications of, a more precarious labour market and how the future of work can be made more just.
  2. Local economic development – in particular, seeking to critically analyse the political economy of post-industrial areas, and the ways that regeneration policy can address widening inequalities and deepening deprivation.
  3. Local democracy and the future of devolution – considering how local policymaking should be organised and governed, the democratic role of citizens within this, and what this suggests about the trajectories for future devolution of power in England (and beyond).

These themes are tied together by an overarching interest in understanding the significance of economic, social, and political precarity in contemporary urban life, how this is experienced, and what can be done to address it.

James joined the Heseltine Institute in 2021 following the completion of his PhD in Politics at the University of York. He has also previously worked as a Research Officer with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, working closely on long-term economic strategy and the devolution agenda.

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