Mark Shucksmith is Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Social Renewal and Professor of Planning at Newcastle University. By background Mark is a rural sociologist, and his research interests span poverty and social exclusion in rural areas, rural development, agricultural policy, and affordable rural housing. He is a Trustee of ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) and was a Commissioner at the Commission for Rural Communities/ Countryside Agency from 2005-13. He was appointed in 2007-08 by the Scottish Government to Chair the Committee of Inquiry into Crofting, whose recommendations led to the Crofting Reform Act 2010. Mark was Vice-President of the International Rural Sociological Association from 2004-08 and was Programme Chair for the European Society of Rural Sociology Congress in 2015.
Recent articles have appeared in the Journal of Rural Studies, Sociologia Ruralis, Regional Studies, and Social Policy and Administration among many others. Recent books include the Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies (2016) Rural Transformations and Rural Policies in the US and UK (Routledge 2012), both with David Brown, Young People in Rural Europe (Ashgate 2004), Housing in the European Countryside (Routledge 2003) and Exclusive Countryside? (Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2000). Mark was awarded the OBE in 2009 for services to rural development and to crofting.