Professor Shin, Hyun Bang

Professor Shin, Hyun Bang

Professor of Geography and Urban Studies

Department of Geography and Environment

020 7955 6383
Room No
STC 6.01f, St Clement's Building, LSE
Office Hours
See below
Connect with me

English, Korean, Spanish
Key Expertise
Political economy of urbanisation, Gentrification, Mega-events

About me

Hyun Bang Shin is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies and Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre. He also co-directs the MSc programme in Urbanisation and Development.

Hyun’s research centres on the critical analysis of the political economy of urbanisation with particular attention to cities in Asian countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea and China. His research themes include the politics of displacement; gentrification; real estate speculation; the right to the city; mega-events as urban spectacles. His most recent project on circulating urbanism has also brought him to work on Ecuador.

Hyun has published widely in major international journals and contributed to numerous books on the above themes. His most recent books include Planetary Gentrification (Polity Press, 2016) and Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (Policy Press, 2015). Other forthcoming books include The Political Economy of Mega Projects in Asia (Routledge) and Making China Urban (Routledge).

He is a trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation, sits on the international advisory board of the journal Antipode and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Urban GeographyCity, Culture and Society; Space and EnvironmentChina City Planning Review; Radical Housing Journal. Previously, he served the journal CITY as Senior Editor.

He is also a co-organiser of the Urban Salon, an interdisciplinary London forum for architecture, cities and international urbanism, and edits an LSE blog Field Research Method Lab.

Hyun Bang Shin was awarded BSc from Seoul National University (1994) and worked in the construction sector for six years before arriving at the LSE to pursue MSc (2000) and PhD (2006). He held a post-doctoral fellowship at the White Rose East Asia Centre, University of Leeds from 2007 to 2008.

To view more details, please visit Prof Shin’s personal website.

View Hyun’s CV here.

Office hours

Week 1: Thursday 14.30-16.00
Week 2-6: Tuesdays 14.30-16.00
Week 7: Thursday 14.30-16.00
Week 8-11: Tuesdays 14.30-16.00

Expertise Details

China; East Asia; Korea; Olympic games; Southeast Asia; cities; comparative studies; displacement; gentrification; governance; housing; mega-events; urban conservation; urban development; urban policy; urban politics; urban regeneration; urbanisation

Countries and regions

East Asia; China; Korea; Latin America; Ecuador; Southeast Asia; Singapore; Vietnam


Chinese [Spoken: Intermediate, Written: Intermediate]; Korean [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Fluent]; Spanish [Spoken: Basic, Written: Basic]

Research Interests

My research involves re-thinking of various concepts that are produced out of the development experience of post-industrial/Western cities, and aims at understanding how the experience of Asian urbanisation propelled by development-oriented strong states re-writes the socal and physical landscape in the context of global uneven development.  Broadly, four strands as explained below have been at the centre of my past and on-going research.

(1) Property-based Urban Redevelopment and State Entrepreneurialism

I have  carried out  neighbourhood-level in-depth enquiries about  the limits of property-based and profit-led urban renewal practices in  East Asian cities, including those of mainland China. Politico-economic processes underlying rapid urban transformation and their socio-spatial manifestation are at the centre of my investigation. I pay attention to the importance of land ownership, property rights (re)distribution and socio-political relations in understanding how urban inhabitants differentially experience social justice and how they fight for it.

(2) Urban Development Politics

In this strand, I  critically examine the politics of urban development by investigating developmental strategies initiated by local states either in collaboration with or independent of the central state. One main strategy that I observe is the use of mega-events, which refer to large-scale, discontinuous events such as the Olympic Games with substantial consequences on host-cities. My attention is to the ways in which mega-events act as a catalyst to establishing political legitimacy and as a means to facilitate fixed assets accumulation and spatial restructuring.

(3) Speculative Urbanisation

The third research strand involves a comparative study of socio-spatial impacts of speculative urbanisation in East Asia in particular. On the one hand, I examine the social consequences of economic restructuring as a result of economic reform (as in transitional economies such as mainland China) and in response to financial crisis (e.g. South Korea in late 1990s). Housing as assets, financialisation and ageing population are the sub-themes that guide this research. On the other, I examine the changing perception of how people exercise their property rights and accumulate real estate assets. The research is to help us gain a valuable insight into how societal inequalities emerging from unequal access to real estate assets are closely related to the broader structural issues of state legitimacy and social stability.

(4) Theorising Gentrification in the Global South

The fourth strand involves the examination of gentrification as a way of critically understanding urbanisation processes outside the Global North. Sub-themes further include: (a) the role of real estate development in facilitating urban growth; (b) the nature of the state that focuses on depopulation and forceful displacement of local poor residents. While the issue of gentrification has been largely discussed in the context of post-industrial cities in the Global North, my focus is to broaden the debates by critically comparing gentrification processes in the Global South and East with those in the Global North.

Sectors and industries

Construction and Property; Consultancy; Policy and Regulatory Bodies; Public Administration

Selected publications

For a full list of publications, click the 'More research' link at the bottom of the page. 

My research