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Dr David Sweeting

Dr David Sweeting

Dr David Sweeting
B.A.(Portsmouth), M.Sc.(Lond.), Ph.D.(Portsmouth)

Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies

Office Room 1.3, 6 Priory Road
Social Science Complex,
8 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TZ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 5569


David specialises in local and urban governance studies. He has research experience both within the UK and in international comparative context. David’s most recent work has been on city leadership, and he is working on a research project on the introduction of mayoral governance in Bristol. His latest edited book 'Directly elected mayors in urban governance' was published by Policy Press 2017. 

David has also worked on a projects on local political leadership in Spain, on local councillors in comparative perspective, and on various projects examining different aspects of urban governance funded by ESRC, the Nuffield Foundation, EPSRC, CLG, ODPM, and the European Commission.

Research projects




David studied Social Policy at the University of Portsmouth for his first degree, before studying MSc Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics (LSE). He returned to Portsmouth for his PhD in local democracy.

His first academic post commenced in 1998 in the Cities Research Centre at the University of the West of England (UWE). He worked for nine years as a Research Fellow on various research projects. He left UWE in 2007 to take up a lectureship in the Centre for Urban and Public Policy Research in School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol. In between he was fortunate enough to hold a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, in the academic year 2007/8. 


David has over 25 years of teaching experience in higher education, having taught at the universities of Portsmouth, UWE, and Bristol, and in a visiting capacity at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He was director of the social policy group of degrees at Bristol between 2015 and 2018.

He currently convenes the following units

  • Understanding public policy (second year, BSc Social Policy)
  • Cities and communities in the urban age (second/third year, BSc Social Policy)
  • Cities, Housing, and Public Policy (MSc Public Policy)

David has also supervised a number of research students in areas related to local government, citizen participation, and collaboration. He has also been external examiner for PhDs at the universities of Nottingham and De Montfort. 




My area of expertise lies in the study of local government, often in comparative perspective. I have conducted research on local political leadership, citizen participation, and local councillors, both in the UK and Europe.

  • local government
  • local councillors
  • directly elected mayors
  • local government in Europe
  • Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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