Dr Jesse Heley

BA, MA and PhD from DGES.


Jesse Heley was awarded a BA and MA from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Having completed his Ph.D. at the same institution on the subject of 'Rurality, Class, Aspiration and the Emergence of a New Squirearchy', Jesse was appointed as a Research Associate in DGES in 2009. He took up a Lectureship in Human Geography in the same department in April 2012.



Jesse's research is situated within the broad fields of political geography, economic geography & spatial planning, being particularly concerned with rural restructuring & shifting class dynamics in the British countryside. Currently, Jesse's research addresses; the nature & impact of globalization in rural localities; rural governance and regional institutions; the role of older volunteers in shaping & maintaining rural services & development; & ethnography & the ethical implications of undertaking 'native', 'local' & 'insider' research.

Current Funded Research Projects:

  • 'Rural-Urban Outlooks: Unlocking Synergies (ROBUST)', European Union Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges (Co-I), Website: www.rural-urban.eu
  • ESRC Civil Society Research Centre (WISERD) Theme 'Leader, Polarization, Austerity & Civic Deficits' www.wiserd.ac.uk 

Selected Previous Research Projects:

  • 'The Global Countryside: Rural Change and Development in Globalization (GLOBAL-RURAL)', European Research Council Advanced Grant, 2014-19 (Co-I, with Michael Woods). Website: www.global-rural.org

Current PhD students 

Emanuele Amo


Director of Undergraduate Studies, DGES

WISERD Civil Society Theme Leader, Polarisation, Austerity and Civic Deficit 


Welsh, M & Heley, J 2023, 'Rural-regionalism in the 21st century: A tale of no cities', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 11, no. 7, pp. 1439-1458. 10.1080/21622671.2021.1916579
Woods, M, Heley, J, Goodwin-Hawkins, B & Howells, H 2021, A Rural Vision for Wales: The Evidence Report.
Woods, M, Fois, F, Heley, J, Jones, L, Onyeahialam, AI, Saville, S & Welsh, M 2021, 'Assemblage, place and globalisation', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 284-298. 10.1111/tran.12430
Woods, M, Heley, J, Goodwin-Hawkins, B & Howells, H 2021, Gweledigaeth Ar Gyfer Cymru Wledig: Yr Adroddiad Dystiolaeth.
Neal , S, Gawlewicz, A, Heley, J & Jones, RD 2021, 'Rural Brexit? The ambivalent politics of rural community, migration and dependency', Journal of Rural Studies, vol. 82, pp. 176-183. 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.01.017
More publications on the Research Portal