Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Staff Profile

Dr Stuart Dawley

Reader in Economic Geography


Roles and Responsibilities

Head of Geography 


BA Geography (1st), University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1998
PhD Geography, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2003


Fellow of the Regional Studies Association (RSA)

Member of the Regional Studies Association Research Committee

Member of Senate, Newcastle University, 2014-2017


Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG)

Regional Studies Association


Research Interests

Stuart is an economic geographer with particular thematic interests around industrial development, labour market geographies, geographies of transnational investment, multi-scalar regulation of economic development, knowledge and innovation and processes of uneven economic and social development.

Recent research has focused upon:

- Evolutionary approaches to local and regional development, focusing on the notions of path creation. I'm currently exploring these concepts through the empirical case study of the offshore wind industry in a variety of regional and national contexts.

- Exploring notions of 'coupling'  between regional assets and focal firms in Global Production Networks.

- Towards the 'resilient region'? What might a resilient region look like, what makes for resilience and how can policy makers look to build resilience?

- The (re) production and remaking of labour market geographies, especially the interplay between new labour market dynamics and peripheral regions.

Current and Recent Work

2016-2020 Internationalization of Norwegian Offshore Wind Capabilities (InNOWiC), with NTNU and SINTEF

2017 ‘How to deliver good jobs: towards a regional industrial strategy for Tees Valley’, Trade Union Congress (TUC), with Peter O'Brien, Mike Coombes, Andy Pike and Lewis Evans.

2015:  The NE1 Model and Comparative Approaches to City Centre Management. Report produced for Newcastle NE1 Business Improvement District (BID). (with John Goddard, David Bradley: CURDS; Kevin Ward, Manchester University). http://www.ncl.ac.uk/curds/news/item/new-curds-report-on-business-improvement-districts-bids

2014: UK Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Feasibility study: The economic impact of industrial plant closures in the UK. (Contribution to project led by ICF GHK)

2012: 'Foresight: Future of Manufacturing and Resilience', UK Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) (with Andy Pike and John Tomaney)   

2010: SUSTAINE. World class thinking: regional sustainable development dialogues.  The two policy workshops – first “How shall we live?” and then “Where shall we live?” – were designed to provide a forum for policymakers and stakeholders to consider evidence from leading-edge sustainability practice and debate the implications, opportunities, barriers and catalysts to practical sustainable development outcomes in the North East.  Together, the two workshops were attended by over 110 delegates drawn from a wide array of local, regional and national stakeholder bodies

2007-2010: CURDS and One NorthEast: 'Regional Insights'.
Hosted by CURDS, the Regional Insights programme features policy experts and academics from across the globe sharing best practice in local and regional development. Funded by One NorthEast and Newcastle University, the programme builds on One NorthEast’s recent study “What Works in Regional Economic Development” and seeks to inform our understanding of policy challenges and interventions 

2009: City of Greater Bendigo/Regional Development Victoria, Australia:‘The regional impact of international skilled migration'. Project undertaken in conjunction with the Institute for Regional Studies, Monash University.

2008-09 ONE North East, ‘Evaluation of the Impact and Policy Response to Restructuring at Northern Rock' with Regeneris Consulting. CURDS team includes Professors Neill Marshall and John Tomaney, Drs Andy Pike and Jane Pollard.

2008 - 'Placing' Accession state migration in the North East labour market. This pilot project (also involving Dr Alison Stenning and Helen Lowther) seeks to better understand the processes through which migrants from the EU accession states (mostly Poland) engage with the North East's labour market and examine the implications for local and regional development. Special attention is focused upon the role of labour market intermediaries in regulating the demand-supply interface.

2008: LSC and Atmel Response Group: 'Advanced Manufacturing Skills Survey'.
This project examines the post-closure labour market experiences of the workers formerly employed at the US- owned Atmel semiconductor fabrication plant on North Tyneside. The Atmel workforce represents one of the most advanced manufacturing workforces in the North East region. The closure of the plant provides the region with a key challenge in terms of capturing, recycling and harnessing the skills and experience of the workforce. The main aim of the research is go beyond exit interview data to provide insights into the longer-term occupational, sectoral and geographical dimensions of workforce resettlement.

2004- Recasting Steel Geographies: Mapping Corporations, Connecting Communities.
Research Team: Dr Alison Stenning (Project Leader); Dr Andy Pike; Dr Stuart Dawley

2005-2006, ODPM (now DCLG) New Horizons Programme: An assessment of the local and regional impacts of migration from the new EU member states (the A8 states), on which I am working with CURDS colleagues Alison Stenning, Mike Coombes, Tony Champion, Ranald Richardson, Cheryl Conway and Liz Dixon.

2006: One North East (RDA) funded project entitled: What Works in Regional Economic Development - Learning from International Best Practice. A comparative exploration and examination into international local and regional development policy making, drawing key lessons for the North East region. This project involved, amongst others, CURDS colleagues Nick Henry, John Tomaney, Andy Pike, Mike Coombes and Cheryl Conway.

2004- Recasting Steel Geographies: Mapping Corporations, Connecting Communities.
Research Team: Dr Alison Stenning (Project Leader); Dr Andy Pike; Dr Stuart Dawley

2003- 2006 European Commission Framework 5 Programme: City-Regions as Intelligent Territories: Inclusion, Competitiveness And Learning (CRITICAL)
Newcastle University Research Team: Prof. David Charles (Project co-ordinator); Dr Stuart Dawley; Cheryl Conway
Project website: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/critical/

Research Roles 

Regional Studies Association (RSA) Research Committee

Postgraduate Supervision 


David Dodds: 'Tech Nation UK?: 'placing' the local geographies of path creation in the digital sector (ESRC Collaborative Studentship with Tech North) (Co-supervised with Jane Pollard)

Lewis Evans: 'Creating new paths: the conversion and diversification of North Sea ports' (ESRC Collaborative Studentship with Humber LEP) (Co-supervised with Danny Mackinnon)

Robert Pollock: 'Placing regions in the path creation of the UK's offshore wind industry' (Co-supervised with Danny Mackinnon)


Fraser Bell 'Place branding, origination and reputations’. (ESRC Collaborative Studentship with NGI) (Co-supervised with Prof Andy Pike and Prof Ray Hudson)

Emil Evenhuis:  'Political Economy of Adaptation in Old Industrial Regions' (ESRC) (Completed in 2016 and co-supervised with Professor Andy Pike) 

Ben Fisher: 'Path Creation in Regional Economic Development'. (Completed in 2015 and co-supervised with Prof Andy Pike).

Paul Vallance: "Work practices and learning in the knowledge communities of the UK games development sector" (ESRC)(Completed 2008 and co-supervised with Prof Jane Pollard)


Undergraduate Teaching

GEO 1015  Contemporary Human Geography of the UK

GEO 2124: Berlin Fieldtrip: Economic Geography (Module Leader)

GEO 2099 Economic Geography 

GEO 3099 Dissertation 

Postgraduate Teaching

MA/MRes in Local and Regional Development -  (incl. Dissertation Supervisor)

MA in Human Geography - Dissertation Supervisor