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Participatory Governance; Deliberative Democracy; Coproduction; Public Policy; Social Policy; Participatory Action Research


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Personal profile


I study and teach public policy, or what governments do or do not do, why and how. My main research interest is participatory governance, or ways of involving citizens, and particularly those groups often at the margins of social and political life, in making policies that affect them directly, in a way that responds to their needs and demands. I’m also interested in doing research with citizens as co-researchers to reframe problems and research questions, by taking their perspective. My research has a strong practical focus and this is also why, after my PhD in Government at the London School of Economics, I spent a few years working in the third sector, before coming back to academia, where I helped to design and evaluate innovative processes to strengthen democracy through citizen participation and community engagement. I joined the University of Birmingham in January 2023.


  • PhD in Government, London School of Economics - thesis on participatory governance
  • MSc in Globalisation and Development, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, SAS, University of London 
  • Certificate in International Relations and European Studies, Birkbeck College
  • MA in Bilingual Translation, University of Westminster
  • BA + MA (First Class with Distinction) in Modern Languages (English and French), University of Sassari, Italy 
  • Liceo Classico (classical studies, Ancient Greek and Latin), Sassari, Italy

Teaching qualifications:

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where Sonia Bussu is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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