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Dr Rachael Chapman

Assistant Professor

Department: Social Sciences

Dr Rachael Chapman is a part-time Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences and Languages at Northumbria University (since March 2010). She was previously employed as a Senior Research Fellow at the Local Government Centre (Warwick Business School, Coventry) and the Local Governance Research Unit (De Montfort University, Leicester) and research officer at the Policy Research Institute (Leeds Metropolitan University).


To date, Rachael has published 11 peer-reviewed journal articles/book chapters, and an excess of 10 research reports. Many of her academic publications relate to governance, participation, political representation and democracy in a variety of contexts, including regeneration, faith based social action, volunteering, multi-level governance, Europeanisation, community cohesion, and health and well-being. High ranking journals she has published in include: Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions (impact factor 2.89), Public Administration (impact factor 1.83), Planning Practice and Research (impact factor 1.50), and Public Money and Management (impact factor 1.32). Rachael has undertaken numerous research, consultancy and evaluation projects on a range of topics for clients such as: The Department for Local Government and Communities, The Home Office, Department of Health, numerous local authorities, the Local Government Association, St Philips Centre for Multi-Faith Study and Engagement and the European Structural Funds Objective 1 Programme Executive.


Rachael undertook her ESRC funded CASE studentship doctoral degree in the Department of Politics at The University of Sheffield. Her thesis was titled ‘Third Sector Empowerment and Legitimacy in a Multi-Level Polity’, in which she studied third sector engagement in the implementation of the EU Objective 1 Structural Funds in South Yorkshire 2000-06. Her thesis was defended successfully with no-amendments. Prior to embarking on her PhD studies, Rachael held a research post at the Policy Research Institute (Leeds Metropolitan University) during which she undertook a part-time masters degree in Public Policy at The University of Sheffield and was awarded a distinction and the Bethan Reeves Memorial prize for the best record of academic attainment.


Rachael is currently engaged in collaborative research activities relating to the democratic transition and governance of urban green spaces, with a particular focus on a case study of Newcastle Upon Tyne. She is also working with practitioners and academics from York University on research that explores the benefits of Forest Schools as it relates to the Education Inspection Framework and Biesta’s model of education purpose.  

Rachael Chapman

Rachael’s research focuses on issues of governance, participation, democracy and forest schools, and comprises of four key themes:

1)    Governance and partnership working between government and other organisations, particularly the third sector;

2)    Community participation and empowerment in the policy process and within the third sector; 

3)    Democratic transition and implications relating to governance, partnerships and community participation, including issues of power, political representation, democratic accountability and legitimacy; 

4)    The role, development and benefits of Forest Schools (where learners are given regular opportunities to develop skills, confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in an outdoor woodland environment).


She is interested in exploring these themes in a wide variety of contexts, including but not limited to: urban green spaces, the environment, health and well-being, forest schools, education, food security, regeneration, faith based social action and community cohesion.



  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Local Government Officers, Pragmatism and Creativity during Austerity – The case of Urban Green Newcastle, Daly, S., Chapman, R., Pegan, A. 2 Jan 2024, In: Local Government Studies
  • Audit of Faith Group Activities and Community Projects in the London Borough of Sutton, Chapman, R., Biddle, P., Moss, O., Irving, A., Cole, B. 31 Jan 2014
  • Searching for authenticity? Understanding representation in network governance: the case of faith engagement, Chapman, R., Lowndes, V. 18 Jun 2014, In: Public Administration
  • Understanding Faith-Based Engagement and Volunteering in the Postsecular Society: Motivations, Rationales and Translation, Chapman, R., Hamalainen, L. 16 Jun 2011, Postsecular Cities: Space, Theory and Practice, London, Continuum
  • Accountable, authorized or authentic? What do ‘faith representatives’ offer urban governance?, Chapman, R., Lowndes, V. 2009, In: Public Money & Management
  • Citizens of faith in governance: opportunities, rationales and challenges, Chapman, R. 2009, Changing local governance, changing citizens, Bristol, Policy Press
  • Faith and the voluntary sector in urban governance: distinctive yet similar?, Chapman, R. 2009, Faith in the Publc Realm: Controversies, policies and practices, Bristol, Policy Press
  • Democracy through multilevel governance? The implementation of the Structural Funds in South Yorkshire, Bache, I., Chapman, R. Jul 2008, In: Governance
  • Faith in Governance? The Potential and Pitfalls of Involving Faith Groups in Urban Governance, Chapman, R., Lowndes, V. 2008, In: Planning Practice and Research
  • The United Kingdom, Chapman, R. 2008, EU Cohesion Policy After Enlargement, Basingstoke, Macmillan

Klaudia Mierswa Cosmopolitanism and asylum seekers in the European Union - Implementation of the asylum acquis in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom from 1999-2015. Are EU Member States fulfilling their international and EU obligations? Start Date: 27/10/2015 End Date: 10/11/2017

The main courses Rachael teaches on are:

- IR5003 Theories and Practices of Democracy

- AD3005 Politics and Decision-Making

- SO7002 Postgraduate Dissertation

- HI6022BNN01 History and Politics Joint Honours Dissertation

  • Politics PhD December 01 2005
  • MA (Hons) January 17 2002
  • BA (Hons) June 20 1997

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