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

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

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

Freeman M C, Groom B and Zeckhauser R (2015). ‘Better Predictions, Better Allocations: Scientific Advances and Adaptation to Climate Change’. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, Volume 373, Issue 2055

Zeiderman, Austin, Sobia Ahmad Kaker, Jonathan Silver, and Astrid Wood (2015) Uncertainty and Urban LifePublic Culture 27 (2), p. 281–304

Barthel, Fabian and Neumayer, Eric (2015) Spatial Dependence in Asylum Migration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41 (7), pp. 1131-1151

Crescenzi, Riccardo, Gagliardi, Luisa and Iammarino, Simona (2015) Foreign Multinationals and domestic innovation: intra-industry effects and firm heterogeneity. Research Policy, 44 (3), p 596-609

Shin, Hyun Bang and Kim, Soo-Hyun (2015) The developmental state, speculative urbanisation and the politics of displacement in gentrifying SeoulUrban Studies, doi: 10.1177/0042098014565745

Rodríguez-Pose, A. and Garcilazo, E. (2015) Quality of Government and the Returns of Investment: Examining the Impact of Cohesion Expenditure in European RegionsRegional Studies, 49 (8), p. 1274-1290

Mace, Alan  (2015) The suburbs as sites of ‘within-planning’ power relationsPlanning Theory, doi: 10.1177/1473095214567027

Zeiderman, Austin (2015) Spaces of Uncertainty: Governing Urban Environmental Hazards. In Modes of Uncertainty: Anthropological Cases, edited by Limor Samimian-Darash and Paul Rabinow. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Groom, B. and Tak, M. (2015). ‘Welfare Analysis of Changing Food Prices: A Nonparametric Examination of Rice Policies in India’. Food Security, DOI 10.1007/s12571-014-0413-x

Latest books

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.

Transparency in Global Environmental Governance - Critical Perspectives
Ed. Aarti Gupta and Michael Mason (MIT Press, 2014)

The “transparency turn” in global environmental governance is seen in a range of international agreements, voluntary disclosure initiatives, and public-private partnerships. This book investigates whether transparency in global environmental governance is in fact a broadly transformative force or plays a more limited, instrumental role.

Urban Economics And Urban Policy: Challenging Conventional Policy Wisdom
Paul Cheshire, Max Nathan, Henry Overman (Edward Elgar, 2014)

This bold, exciting and readable volume illustrates the insights that recent economic research brings to our understanding of cities, and the lessons for urban policy-making. The authors present new evidence on the fundamental importance of cities to economic wellbeing and to the enrichment of our lives. They also argue that many policies have been trying to push water uphill and have done little to achieve their stated aims; or, worse, have had unintended and counterproductive consequences.

Keys to the City: How Economics, Institutions, Social Interaction, and Politics Shape Development
Michael Storper (Princeton University Press, 2013)

Why do some cities grow economically while others decline? Why do some show sustained economic performance while others cycle up and down? In Keys to the City, Michael Storper looks at why we should consider economic development issues within a regional context - at the level of the city-region - and why city economies develop unequally. Storper identifies four contexts that shape urban economic development: economic, institutional, innovational and interactional, and political. The book explores how these contexts operate and how they interact, leading to developmental success in some regions and failure in others.

Multinationals and Economic Geography: Location, Technology and Innovation
Simona Iammarino, with Philip McCann (Edward Elgar, 2013)

A landmark examination of the geography of the multinational enterprise as understood through the lens of innovation and technological change, Multinationals And Economic Geography is a must read for anyone eager to fully understand the new economic geography of globalisation.

City Suburbs: Placing suburbia in a post-suburban world
Alan Mace (Routledge, 2013) 

The majority of the world’s population is now urban, and for most this will mean a life lived in the suburbs. In this book Alan Maceconsiders contemporary Anglo-American suburbia. Drawing on research in outer London, City Suburbs looks at life on the edge of a world city from the perspective of residents. It argues that the contemporary suburban life is one where place and participation are, in combination, strong determinants of the suburban experience. From this perspective suburbia is better seen as a process which is influenced - but not determined - by the history of suburban development.

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.