Economic Geography

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Economic geography is a vibrant, eclectic, and a theoretically and methodologically pluralist discipline. It has no single core, or prescribed approach, and increasingly its boundaries blur with other subfields. Economic geographers at the Department of Geography at UBC personify the discipline’s diversity and openness. Current foci of research include:

  • studies of various resource commodities such as lumber, minerals and water, and the varied production networks, forms of formal and informal regulation, and patterns of control and ownership that bear upon them;
  • explorations of multiple forms of globalization (the international movement of goods, capital, people, and ideas), transnationalization, and the often-accompanying practices of neoliberalization
  • investigations of regional and local development, which is not only economic, but social, political and environmental, and carried out by faculty in such sites as Thailand, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, the United States, Guatemala, and Mexico;
  • analyses of urban economies, including the restructuring of financial, housing and labour markets, the emergence of creative industry clusters, and new forms of civic governance;
  • contextual historical studies of the intellectual development of Anglophone economic geography as a discipline especially from the Second World War; and
  • critical reviews of the discipline’s methods, theories, and philosophical assumptions.

Faculty working on Economic Geography


Professor

I’m mainly interested in the history of twentieth-century geography. I am especially concerned with the work of geographers during periods of war (both hot and cold). Recently, I’ve also examined war protestors, in particular, the American geographer, Bill Bunge. There are two other projects I am finishing. The first is the completion of an economic geography text (“A Critical Introduction”), co-written with Brett Christophers (Uppsala University); and the second is a comparative study of Vancouver and Seattle (with Tom Hutton, School of Community and Regional Planning, UBC).


Assistant Professor

My central academic goal is to wrestle with the theoretical and historical-geographical complexities of environmental politics as it shapes and is shaped by the entanglement of state, economy, science, and culture. My research draws from and contributes to diverse methodological approaches and literatures including political ecology, economic geography, feminist science studies, and increasingly, green finance.


Professor Emeritus

My current research focuses on aspects of economic geography in the Pacific Rim, including Japanese trade and investment patterns in China. I hold a SSHRC grant to examine aspects of the recovery of coastal Tohoku, northern Japan after the 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami; and I also conduct research on urban and regional change in Japan.



Instructor

My research interest in economic, specifically labor, geography lies in the context of global cities or more specifically newly emerging global cities. I am expanding my empirical work to include the urban context of Dubai and also Vancouver.


Professor

My research focuses on transnational migration, labour precarity and performance. I am preoccupied with how to put stories of transnational migration and family separation into circulation, with the politics of testimony and witnessing, and the obligations of witnessing and dialogue within, beyond and across national and community borders. I am developing new research on the outsourcing of eldercare.