I am an Assistant Professor in Public Management and Public Policy in the School of Government at the University of Birmingham. Prior to starting my academic career, I worked for six years in government and the public sector, including at the UK Government Digital Service. My research focuses on the ways in which different methods of public service delivery affect the quality of public services and the nature of interactions between citizens and government.
I have two ongoing research projects. The first, based on my doctoral research explores government-contractor relationships in outsourced public services and how they effect and are affected by market competition. I explore how more flexible contractual arrangements, based on trust and collaboration, are being used to manage the risk and uncertainty involved in outsourcing public services. I use online survey experiments, machine learning, and qualitative Bayesian process tracing to analyse the evolution of government contracting relationships over time. I examine the effects that these practices have on competition for public contracts and on the quality of services being provided.
The second research project, with colleagues at the LSE, investigates the ways in which governments have sought to become more reconnect with and become more responsive to the needs of citizens through their policies and service delivery. We look at successes, as well as the challenges and tensions with other policy objectives through a case study of UK unemployment services. We examine how the implementation of unemployment and labour market policies has affected welfare claimants’ experience of interacting with government and the level of agency they have over their treatment by the state. This project is part of a collaboration with the London School of Economics, King's College London, Leiden University, Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), and BI Norwegian Business School.
My wider research interests are in the politics and practice of public sector organization design, particularly decisions about the boundaries between the public and private sectors and questions of public ownership. I am interested in the ways in which public management decisions can have wide-ranging consequences for people’s experience of government and the effects of public management reforms on the quality and responsiveness of public services.