I was awarded my PhD from the Department of Government, University of Strathclyde (1996). The thesis examined the politicisation of the Civil Service under the 1979-97 Conservative Government. I then became a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham (1995-1998). In 1998 I joined the School of Politics and Communication Studies, University of Liverpool as a Lecturer, becoming a Senior Lecturer in 2001, Reader in 2004 and Professor in 2009. In the year 2000, I was a Visiting Honorary Fellow at the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Australia. In 2008, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. I joined the University of Manchester in September 2012 as Professor of Public Policy.
My main research interests are in British politics, Australian politics, public policy, governance, globalisation, state theory and political biography. I am currently researching: the changing role of the state through a critique of the literatures on governance, democracy and accountability, the regulatory state and implementation; leaks and whistle blowing in government; a multi-theoretical study on diffuse water pollution; UK institutions and crisis in the 21st century; and finally the role of political biography in political analysis.