Photo of Dr Alan Southern

Dr Alan Southern

PI Heseltine Institute and Senior Lecturer in the Management School Strategy, IB and Entrepreneurship


Socialising the whole economy

Inclusive economic growth has become a buzzword as the effects from the financial meltdown of 2008 continue. In this work I argue that we should take the opportunity to consider the whole economy from the perspective of those social relations that make it work. In this sense, the objectives of wealth creation are focused on people first rather than capital, and ideas about how we redistribute wealth come to the fore.

I welcome collaboration in this field, with recent PhD students looking at the work of Karl Polanyi and his perspectives on the political economy, and ways to interpret the new wave of technological innovation that will serve workers and dignity in work.

The social economy

This work looks at the assets of those social organisations operating in and around the economy. Our recent work on the social economy in the Liverpool City Region shows the economic value of the sector; our work on how communities organise and what assets they can secure to support new initiatives includes a review of community land trusts in the UK and USA, and our recent research on community businesses show new models of engaging the public and private sectors in ways that support local communities.

I have worked with successful PhD students in this field and would welcome any enquiries from students interested in pursuing research in this area.

New and sustainable enterprise in low-income communities

This work investigates the role of entrepreneurship and enterprise in society in general, and in low income communities in particular. The research dispels the myth that such communities are deficient in terms of their entrepreneurial capability and calls for a better understanding of how we consider enterprising behaviours in practice. A number of research outputs are available and I would welcome enquiries from students interested in pursuing research in this area.

Research Group Membership

Research Grants

Community businesses in the Liverpool City Region: who, what, where and what next


October 2017 - October 2020

Cultural sustainability? Liverpool 2008: the theory and practice of cultural policy


January 2008 - December 2011

Challenges to local economic development in an era of climate change and peak oil


October 2006 - April 2009