Dr Emanuele Lobina PhD, MA, PGCert, PGCE

Principal Lecturer, Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)

Key details

Emanuele Lobina

Dr Emanuele Lobina

Principal Lecturer, Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)

Dr Emanuele Lobina specialises in the political economy of water service reform, governance and regulation in the global North and South. His more recent work reconceptualises public service efficiency and productivity and focuses on the international experience with remunicipalisation, or reverse privatisation. Dr Lobina has been awarded an ISRF Political Economy Fellowship (2017-2018). Over the last 20 years, his research has produced policy impact at the highest level, as documented in a University of Greenwich REF2014 Impact Case Study. He has an established track record of conducting commissioned policy research for and providing expert evidence to international organisations, national and local governments, utilities and their associations, trade unions and civil society organisations. He has been invited to speak at dozens of academic and policy events around the world and has considerable experience of disseminating research through the mainstream media.   

After collaborating as a research associate with the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration and the University of Siena in Italy, he joined PSIRU in 1998 and the University of Greenwich in 2000.

Keywords: Water service reform; efficiency and productivity; capacity development; water governance; regulation; human right to water; sustainable water development; Public-Public Partnerships; public sector; public enterprise performance; remunicipalisation; Public-Private Partnerships; New Public Management; political economy; industrial organisation; organisational economics; comparative institutional analysis.

Responsibilities within the university

Member of the Senior Management Team, Department of International Business and Economics

PhD supervision

  • Third supervisor, Yasaman Sarabi (completed).

MPhil/PhD examination

  • Internal examiner, transfer from MPhil to PhD: Bertha Darteh
  • Internal examiner, MPhil: Camilla Capotorto.

Teaching (Tutor)

  • Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Operating in Emerging Markets
  • International Business Project


  • Visiting professorship, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, November to December 2012


  • Member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Water Governance

Research / Scholarly interests

On-going research includes:

  • rebasing organisational economics on a realist paradigm
  • reconceptualising public service efficiency and productivity 
  • the political economy of water remunicipalisation, or reverse privatisation 
  • the political economy of the human right to water.

Key funded projects

  • SSHRC Insight Grant, "Remunicipalization: The Future of Water Services?", 2018-2019, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada.
  • ISRF Political Economy Research Fellowship, "Reorienting Industrial Organisation Theory: From Necessary to Possible Outcomes", 2017-2018, Independent Social Research Foundation, (PI) £60,000.
  • COST Action Local Public Sector Reforms (LocRef), Working Group I - "External (Post-) NPM Reforms", 2013-2016, COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), EU RTD Framework Programme.
  • Exploratory grant on "Strengthening water and sanitation capacity in Russia", Internationalising Higher Education, British Council, 2012 (Project Manager) £5,000.
  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (DESA), Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil (November-December 2012).
  • Research Network on Governance and Citizenship in Water Management and Environmental Health in Latin America (WATERLAT), Leverhulme Trust, 2009-2011. 
  • Sustainable Water management Improves Tomorrow's Cities' Health (SWITCH), European Commission, 6th Framework Programme, 2006-2010, Contract No. 018530 (GOCE). Integrated project.
  • Environmental Governance in Peri-urban Water Basin Management in Metropolitan Areas – social, environmental, territorial and institutional dynamics (GovAgua), European Commission, ALFA Programme, 2005-2008, Network No. II-0433-FA-FCD-FI.
  • Decision making in water systems in European cities (WATERTIME), European Commission, 5th Framework Programme, 2002-2005. Contract No. EVK4-2002-0095.

Recent publications


Lobina, Emanuele , Weghmann, Vera, Marwa, Marwa (2019), Water justice will not be televised: Moral advocacy and the struggle for transformative remunicipalisation in Jakarta, Water Alternatives Association. In: , , , . Water Alternatives Association, Water Alternatives pp. 725-748 1965-0175 (Online) (doi: http://www.water-alternatives.org/index.php/alldoc/articles/vol12/v12issue3/534-a12-2-17) Published.

Lobina, Emanuele and , (2017), A better future for water: what role for theory?, ISRF. In: , , , . ISRF, ISRF Bulletin pp. 16-21 (doi: http://www.isrf.org/bulletin/) Published.

Book section

Lobina, Emanuele and , (2018), UK - Strong and weak lock-in of water governance outcomes in England, Palgrave Macmillan. In: , , In: Simon Porcher, Stéphane Saussier (eds.), Facing the Challenges of Water Governance (Palgrave Studies in Water Governance: Policy and Practice. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York pp. 155-188 ISBN: 9783319985145 (doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-98515-2_7) Published NB Item availability restricted.


Lobina, Emanuele and , (2018), Commentary on the European Commission’s “Study on Water Services in Selected Member States”, European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). In: , , , . European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), https://www.epsu.org/sites/default/files/article/files/PSIRU%20Commentary%20on%20EC%20Study%20on%20Water%20Services_FINAL%20final.pdf (doi: https://www.epsu.org/sites/default/files/article/files/PSIRU%20Commentary%20on%20EC%20Study%20on%20Water%20Services_FINAL%20final.pdf) Published.


Weghmann, Vera and , Lobina, Emanuele (2018), Water Renationalisation in Cameroon 2018, Public Services International. In: , , , . Public Services International, (doi: https://www.world-psi.org/sites/default/files/attachment/news/cameroon_water_renationalised_psiru_brief_may_2018.pdf) Published NB Item availability restricted.