Professor Colin C. Williams

Professor of Public Policy

Room: D026
Phone: +44 (0)114 222 3476
Professor Colin C. Williams photograph  

Colin Williams is Professor of Public Policy and joined the Management School in September 2006. Prior to this, he was a professor in the School of Management at the University of Leicester.


Colin adopts an enthusiastic research-led approach to his teaching using case studies from his current research projects to convey the practical importance of the topics covered in his lectures. His teaching on the Future of Work (MGT6098) is based on the in-depth research he conducted for his book Re-thinking the future of work (Routledge) whilst his teaching on Managing Local and Regional Economies (MGT6097) draws extensively on his consultancy projects conducted for numerous local and regional Governments and central Government agencies.

In this way, his students receive not only theoretically-informed understandings of contemporary issues of policy relevance, but also cutting-edge knowledge of how issues are being conceptualised and acted upon in policy terms. In doing so, he hopes to inspire and motivate students to pursue careers in both private sector consultancy organisations as well as Government agencies that seek to tackle the problems he lectures on. His past students have now successfully progressed to become partners in large private sector consultancy companies, highly-skilled private sector consultants, heads of national voluntary organisations and directors of local Government departments.


Colin's broad research interests are in re-theorising the nature of economic development and investigating the implications for public policy. Spatially, his interests range across the full spectrum from local and regional economic development in the UK through to the restructuring of western economies, post-socialist societies and the third (majority) world. Much of his work focuses upon rethinking the meanings of 'economic' and 'development,' which directly feeds into the work of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED).

Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development

Colin's particular research interest is in studying the magnitude and character of the informal economy and evaluating different public policy approaches and initiatives for tackling this sphere.

See more about Colin's current and previous research projects here.

Professional Roles

Colin currently serves as Editor of two journals:

  • The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy and
  • International Journal of Community Currency Research