Our specialisms

Research in the Department of Geography and Environment should be seen within the context of the specialist nature of LSE and its commitment to research excellence across the social sciences.

Our research has a strong applied, policy relevant focus

Our research strategy has been developed from the view of geography as an integrative discipline whose contribution depends on a strong two-way engagement with other disciplines, and to leverage synergies with other social science subjects within the School. As a result, our research agenda is a distinctive one, predicated on applying an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse social science approach to key geographical and environmental questions. Much of our research has a strong applied, policy relevant focus.

Research is organised around three main clusters of interest:

Recent articles


Crescenzi, Riccardo and Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés (2017) The geography of innovation in China and India. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research . ISSN 0309-1317 (In Press)2.

Czaika, Mathias and Neumayer, Eric (2017) Visa restrictions and economic globalisation. Applied Geography . ISSN 0143-6228 (In Press).

Lee, Neil and Brown, Ross (2017) Innovation, SMEs and the liability of distance: the demand and supply of bank funding in peripheral UK regions. Journal of Economic Geography, 17 (1). pp. 233-260. ISSN 1468-27024.

Shin, Hyun Bang (2017) Envisioned by the state: entrepreneurial urbanism and the making of Songdo City, South Korea. In: Datta, Ayona and Shaban, Abdul, (eds.) Mega-Urbanization in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias of the Postcolonial State. Routledge studies in urbanism and the city. Routledge , Abingdon, UK , pp. 83-100. ISBN 97804157455125.

Shin, Hyun Bang (2017) Geography: rethinking the ‘urban’ and urbanization. In: Iossifova, D., Doll, C. and Gasparatos, A., (eds.) Defining the Urban: Interdisciplinary and Professional Perspectives. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9781472449528 (In Press)6.

Zeiderman, Austin (2017) Will the politics of threat carry over into post-conflict Colombia? LSE Latin America and Caribbean Blog (06 Feb 2017) Blog Entry.


Ascani, Andrea, Crescenzi, Riccardo and Iammarino, Simona (2016) The geography of foreign investments in the EU neighbourhood. Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie . ISSN 0040-747X2. 

Bosquet, Clément and Overman, Henry G. (2016) Why does birthplace matter so much? sorting, learning and geography. SERC discussion papers, 190. Spatial Economics Research Centre, London, UK.3.

Carlson, Anna and Palmer, Charles (2016) A qualitative meta-synthesis of the benefits of eco-labeling in developing countries. Ecological Economics, 127 . pp. 129-145. ISSN 0921-80094.

Faggio, Giulia, Silva, Olmo and Strange, William C. (2016) Heterogeneous agglomeration. Review of Economics and Statistics . ISSN 0034-65355.

Gordon, Ian, Mace, Alan and Whitehead, Christine (2016) Defining, measuring and implementing density standards in London: London plan density research project 1. 2016 Density review, LSE London, London, UK.6.

Gordon, Ian and Whitehead, Christine (2016) Why else is density important? London plan density research project 5. 2016 Density review, LSE London, London, UK.8.

Henderson, J. Vernon, Regan, Tanner and Venables, Anthony J. (2016) Building the city: sunk capital, sequencing and institutional frictions. SERC discussion papers, 196. Spatial Economics Research Centre, London, UK.9.

Ketterer, Tobias D. and Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés (2016) Institutions vs. ‘first-nature’ geography: what drives economic growth in Europe's regions? Papers in Regional Science . ISSN 1056-819010.

Lee, Neil (2016) Psychology and the geography of innovation. Economic Geography . pp. 1-25. ISSN 0013-009511.

Lee, Neil, Sissons, Paul and Jones, Katy (2016) The geography of wage inequality in British cities. Regional Studies, 50 (10). pp. 1714-1727. ISSN 0034-340412.

López-Morales, E., Shin, H.B and Lees, L. (2016) Introduction: Latin American gentrifications. Urban Geography, 37 (8). pp. 1091-1108. ISSN 0272-363813.

Shin, Hyun Bang
 (2016) Economic transition and speculative urbanisation in China: gentrification versus dispossession. Urban Studies 53 (3), pp. 471-489

Shin, H.B (2016) Dreaming of a world without gentrification - 젠트리피케이션 없는 세상 꿈꾸기. In: Jeong, H.S., (ed.) Hannam Forum - 한남 포럼. TakeoutDrawing, Seoul, South Korea, pp. 168-174.14.

Shin, H.B (2016) Editorial review: developmentalist urbanization, gentrification and the alliance of resistance - 발전주의 도시화와 젠트리피케이션, 그리고 저항의 연대. Space and Society / 공간과 사회, 26 (3). pp. 5-14.15.

Storper, Michael (2016) The neo-liberal city as idea and reality. Territory, Politics, Governance, 4 (2). pp. 241-263. ISSN 2162-267116.

Storper, Michael and Scott, Allen J. (2016) Current debates in urban theory: a critical assessment. Urban Studies, 53 (6). pp. 1114-1136. ISSN 0042-098017.

Zeiderman, Austin 
(2016)  'Adaptive Publics: Building Climate Constituencies in BogotáPublic Culture (2016) 28(2 79): 389-413

Zeiderman, Austin, Anand, Nikhil, Daniels, Stephen, Wolch, Jennifer, Swyngedouw, Erik and Gandy, Matthew (2016) Book review: the fabric of space: water, modernity and the urban imagination. The AAG Review of Books, 4 (3). pp. 179-190. ISSN 2325-548X

Latest books

Art and the City
Ed. Jason Luger and Julie Ren (Routledge, 2017) 

This book presents a global perspective on the relationship between art and the city. International and leading scholars and artists themselves present critical theory and practice of contemporary art as a politicised force. It extends thinking on contemporary arts practices in the urban and political context of protest and social resilience and offers the prism of a ‘critical artscape’ in which to view the urgent interaction of arts and the urban politic. 

The Economics of Land Markets and their Regulation
Ed. Paul Cheshire and Christian Hilber (Edward Elgar, 2017) 

This important volume brings together seminal papers investigating the framework upon which the economic analysis of land markets is based, stretching from the earliest insights of the founding fathers to current debates and research. Recent work on the process and implications of 'land value capitalisation' and land use regulation is well represented, for due to capitalisation, land is responsible for far more of the distribution of real incomes than is widely recognised. 

Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá
Austin Zeiderman (Duke University Press, 2016)

Security and risk have become central to how cities are planned, built, governed, and inhabited in the twenty-first century. In Endangered City, Austin Zeiderman focuses on this new political imperative to govern the present in anticipation of future harm. Through ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Bogotá, Colombia, he examines how state actors work to protect the lives of poor and vulnerable citizens from a range of threats, including environmental hazards and urban violence. 

Cities, slums and gender in the global south: towards a feminised urban future 
Sylvia Chant 
and Cathy Mcllwaine (Routledge, 2016)

Developing regions are set to account for the vast majority of future urban growth, and women and girls will become the majority inhabitants of these locations in the Global South. This is one of the first books to detail the challenges facing poorer segments of the female population who commonly reside in ‘slums’. It explores the variegated disadvantages of urban poverty and slum-dwelling from a gender perspective. This book revolves around conceptualisation of the ‘gender-urban-slum interface’ which explains key elements to understanding women’s experiences in slum environments.

Planetary Gentrification 
Loretta Lees, Hyun Bang Shin and Ernesto López-Morales (Polity, 2016)

Rich with empirical detail, yet wide-ranging, Planetary Gentrification unhinges, unsettles and provincializes Western notions of urban development. It will be invaluable to students and scholars interested in the future of cities and the production of a truly global urban studies, and equally importantly to all those committed to social justice in cities.

The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies - Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles
Michael Storper, Thomas Kemeny, Naji Makarem & Taner Osman (Stanford University Press, 2015)

The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies challenges many of the conventional notions about economic development and sheds new light on its workings. The authors argue that it is essential to understand the interactions of three major components - economic specialization, human capital formation, and institutional factors - to determine how well a regional economy will cope with new opportunities and challenges. Drawing on economics, sociology, political science, and geography, they argue that the economic development of metropolitan regions hinges on previously underexplored capacities for organizational change in firms, networks of people, and networks of leaders.

Gender, Poverty and Development
Ed. Sylvia Chant and Gwendolyn Beetham (Routledge, 2015)

Serious research into the problematic and contested relationship between notions of gender, poverty, and development continues to blossom. This major 4-volume work brings together cutting-edge and foundational research to provide users with a ‘mini library’ on the gendered dimensions of the causes, contexts, and consequences of international poverty.

Global Gentrifications: Uneven development and displacement
Ed. Loretta Lees, Hyun Bang Shin, & Ernesto López-Morales (Policy Press, 2015)

Under contemporary capitalism the extraction of value from the built environment has escalated, working in tandem with other urban processes to lay the foundations for the exploitative processes of gentrification world-wide. Global gentrifications critically assesses and tests the meaning and significance of gentrification in places outside the ‘usual suspects’ of the Global North.

Books by former PhD students

Frontier Road: Power, History, and the Everyday State in the Colombian Amazon 
Simón Uribe (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017) 

Frontier Road uses the history of one road in southern Colombia known locally as the trampoline of death to demonstrate how state–building processes and practices have depended on the production and maintenance of frontiers as inclusive–exclusive zones, often through violent means.

Dystopia's Provocateurs: Peasants, State, and Informality in the Polish-German Borderlands
Edyta Materka
(Indiana University Press, 2017) 

Toward the end of the Second World War, Poland's annexation of eastern German lands precipitated one of the largest demographic upheavals in European history. Edyta Materka travels to to her native village in these "Recovered Territories", where she listens carefully to rich oral histories told by original postwar Slavic settlers and remaining ethnic Germans who witnessed the metamorphosis of eastern Germany into western Poland.

Race, Education, and Citizenship: Mobile Malaysians, British Colonial Legacies, and a Culture of Migration
Sin Yee Koh (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) 

Transnational skilled migrants are often thought of as privileged migrants with flexible citizenship. This book challenges this assumption by examining the diverse migration trajectories, experiences and dilemmas faced by tertiary-educated mobile Malaysian migrants through a postcolonial lens. It argues that mobile Malaysians’ culture of migration can be understood as an outcome and consequence of British colonial legacies – of race, education, and citizenship – inherited and exacerbated by the post-colonial Malaysian state.

Research centres

Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy

Aiming to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research into economics and policy, the CCCEP is jointly hosted by LSE and the University of Leeds.

Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

LSE's Grantham Research Institute is a world-leading centre for policy-relevant research, teaching and training in climate change and the environment.

Spatial Economics Research Centre

The Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) connects policy-makers with international expertise, providing high quality, independent research to further understanding of disparities in economic prosperity at all spatial levels.

What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth

For policymakers, understanding, assessing and making use of evidence is no easy task. The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth (WWG) helps decision-makers make better use of evidence on local economic growth, and work with local partners to design more effective local economic policies.

Visiting fellows

We host a limited number of Visiting Fellows working in an area of particular interest to the Department or from an institution with which the Department has close links. These positions are non-contractual and unremunerated.


Visiting Fellows may start at any time during the year, subject to agreement between each individual fellow and the Department.


The duration can be from one month to one year and can be renewed up to three years in total.


Applicants will be of post-doctoral status or equivalent. The scheme is not open to PhD students, for whom the Visiting Research Students scheme is more appropriate.


At present, applications can only be considered from those who already have (or expect to have) adequate financial support. The Department does not provide Visiting Fellows with a research allowance.

Email and desk space

The Fellow will have access to the LSE Library and will be given a temporary LSE email address. We regret that we are not normally able to provide visiting fellows with desk space within the Department.


The School is not able to make any arrangements for living accommodation or travel. The accommodation for staff website, however, provides useful guidance on finding private rented housing.

How to apply

Applicants first need to identify an academic staff member of the Department as a potential host and contact them directly giving a brief outline of their research interests and enclosing their curriculum vitae. If the member of staff agrees to act as host, a form will be completed and nominations will be sent to the LSE Academic Research Committee which meets at various dates throughout the year.

Successful applicants will then liaise directly with the Department to confirm their start dates and any other details.


Please direct any enquiries about the visiting fellows scheme to an appropriate academic in the Department.

Research projects

LSE London

This HEIF5 project, entitled 'Accelerating housing production in London', will examine a range of strategies and instruments to accelerate the development of new housing, and will ask how the new mayor could use his powers in the new policy context to push more housing through the pipeline. Visit the project website.

Metropolitan Green Belt

This HEIF5 project will draw together academic and practice views on the purpose of the Metropolitan Green Belt. The project promotes constructive debate on the purpose and future form of the Metropolitan Green Belt in the context of contemporary housing need and urban development planning in the region. It also asks how, in an era of localism, collaboration can effectively be pursued between different scales and authorities when reviewing the Metropolitan Green Belt. Visit the project website.