Keith Shaw is Professor of Social Sciences at Northumbria University. Over the last 30 years he has researched and published extensively on urban and regional development, particularly in relation to the North East of England, and on local politics and governance. He has undertaken a wide range of consultancy work for the EU, national and sub-national governments and is a member of a number of external boards and organisations in the North East. These include the management board of the North East Institute for Local Governance, The Newcastle Fairness Commission and was recently the Independent chair of both the Newcastle Future Needs Development Board and the South Tyneside Living Wage Commission. His most recent funded research programme is Borderlands: can the North East and Cumbria benefit from greater Scottish autonomy and he is the Principal Investigator on the ESRC Seminar Series, ‘Close Friends? Assessing the impact of greater Scottish autonomy on the North of England and Scotland.