Martin Quinn


Universities & Institutions

Areas of Interest

  • Local governance
  • Governance
  • Public policy analysis
  • Local development
  • Public private partnership
  • Economic development
  • Local development

Martin Quinn is an Associate Professor at the University of Leicester.

Personal details

He was appointed to an Associate Professorship in Regional Development & Public Policy in 2019. Prior to this, he held a Lectureship in Regional Development at the University of Leicester School of Business. He is a member of the Management and Organization Division in the School, and a Fellow of both the Regional Studies Association and the Higher Education Academy.


His research is primarily concerned with public policy and regional economic development. He works both independently and in teams with colleagues from Leicester and beyond. His work on regional economic development and public policy has developed since the award of his PhD into three interconnected themes – engagement with local and regional economic development, the leadership of place and the use of policy to stimulate innovation in the economy. This latter theme is currently focused on innovation systems and the use of cultural and creative industries to drive economic growth in transitional economies and is the result of collaboration with a colleague from the INTO Division in the School, Dr Marta Gasparin, bringing together our overlapping interests in public policy, regional economic development, design theory, innovation theory and philosophy. They launched a research group at Leicester to bring together a range of scholars and practitioners interested in the use of innovation and creativity in the economy called INCITE.  Currently, he is working on four overlapping projects;

  1. Innovation and Creativity in Transitional Economies

This work was initially sparked by the development of a new cultural quarter in Leicester, a city with little or no history of the cultural and creative industries. Taking a critical stance on the work of Richard Florida much of his work in this area has assessed the implementation of cultural quarters in smaller, second tier cities. As this work has developed further, I have worked closely with Dr Marta Gasparin drawing together our backgrounds in political sciences and innovation and design management to explore the use of innovation and the cultural and creative industries in developing or transitional economies. We have carried out projects in Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and The Philippines as part of this work.

  1. The Anthropocene

He is a member of the Anthropocene Research Group at the University of Leicester. This is an interdisciplinary research network exploring the challenges posed by the Anthropocene and the climate crisis. His particular contribution to the group is based around the policy process and understanding how we might produce the political impetus necessary to address the challenges we now face. He brings together his background in regional studies and place leadership to explore how place leaders in regions and cities might lead the way in proposing new approaches to the fabric of social and economic life as natural resources run out.

  1. Engagement with local and regional economic development.

This research assesses engagement with local and regional governance institutions and devolution efforts in England. He uses Social Contract Theory as a framework within which he examines what these institutions need to offer to gain the buy-in of their local communities and businesses. The work has been funded by a grant from the Regional Studies Association –

  1. Leadership of place

This research examines how sub-national leadership establishes and imposes itself on regions and localities. Initially taking inspiration from the ‘New Regionalism’ literature of the mid to late 1990s, this work has explored how place leadership is a complex issue that had often been missed in the regional studies literature. As part of this work, he is a leading member of the Regional Studies Association Network on Leadership and have co-edited a special edition of the journal Local Economy.



See all work by this Author