Research Expertise and Interest
China, geography, political economy of development in East Asia, the process of international economic restructuring, cultural and institutional configuration in the processes of Taiwanese direct investment, growth in Chinese cities, business networks
My research and teaching has been focused on political economy of development in East Asia, especially China. I am interested in the question of local-global articulation in the process of international economic restructuring. My book (1998) analyzed the cultural and institutional configuration in the processes of Taiwanese direct investment in southern China over the past two decades. More recently I have extended this work in two related directions. Locally, I examine the politics of growth in Chinesecities and towns and its implication on socialist transition and the development discourse. My second book, temporarily entitled "Landed Politics in China's Small Towns," will discuss local politics around land development in the post-Mao era. Globally, I explore the making of transnational Chinese business networks and its implication on ethnic identities and regional boundaries. I rely heavily on fieldwork for data collection, and I find in-depth interviews and participatory observation indispensable and inspiring. What's equally fun is the historical exploration of these issues. I am often surprised by the past, as one would expect from speculating on the future. For me, Geography is as much about space as about time.