Geography and Environment


Dr John Harrison

Photo of Dr John Harrison

Reader in Human Geography

Academic career:

2016- : Reader in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
2012-2016: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.
2006-2011: Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University.

Professional responsibilities:

2014- : Editor, Urban and Regional HorizonsRegional Studies
2013- : GaWC Associate Director (City and Region Governance).

Prizes and awards:

2015: Vice Chancellor's Loughborough Academic Award of Excellence
2015: Jim Lewis Prize
2011: Routledge Regional Studies Association Award for Early Career Excellence

My research interests lie within the broad scope of political-economic geography, with a specific focus on cities and regions. Conceptually my research seeks to uncover how new, generally more networked urban and regional spaces, are being (re)produced in globalization. To answer this my research investigates the politics and practices of region formation: who or what is constructing new urban and regional spaces, how they are being re/constructed, who stands to gain/lose from the construction of particular urban-regional configurations. The aim of my research is to investigate the extent to which emerging forms of urban-regional governance and planning variously complement, contradict, compete, and overlap with extant structures of state spatial/scalar organisation in different spatial, scalar, and temporal contexts. This work centres around four main themes.

Regions and regional theory

  • The political construction of regions and regional spaces
  • The relationship between regions, territoriality and relationality
  • Theorising processes of regionalism and regionalisation

Urban and regional governance

  • The uneven geographies of devolution and decentralisation
  • City-regionalism
  • Planning and governing cities and regions

Geographies of higher education

  • New institutional geographies of higher education
  • Uneven geographies of higher education
  • Uncovering processes of regionally-scaled university collaboration

Global urban studies

  • Global city-region governance
  • Researching globalization’s new urban form
  • The practice of doing global urban research

My teaching examines political and economic globalization with a focus on cities and regions.

Current postgraduate research students

Richard Sieff: Governing Off-Grid Energy Provision: Exploring the Role of Local Governance in Energy Transitions in the Global South
Ozgur Sayin: Istanbul - The Making of a ‘Global City' Between East and West
Swayam Das: Building BRICs - Indian Cities in the World City Network

Recent postgraduate research students

Chao Luo (2016) Integrative development and governance of ‘megaregion’: the case of Wuhan ‘1+8’ city circle
Yifei Chen (2016) Understanding city expansion into larger city-regions: the case of the Yangtze River Delta
David Rigby (2016) Nascent Geographies of Austerity – Understanding the Implications of a (Re)new(ed) Welfare-to-Work Discourse
Jonathan Morris (2013) Benchmarking domestic gas and electricity consumption to aid local authority carbon reduction policy
Chloe Kinton (2013) Processes of destudentification and studentification in Loughborough
Preena Shah (2011) Coastal gentrification: the coastification of St-Leonards-on-Sea

Paasi A, Harrison J and Jones M (eds.) (2018) Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham.

Harrison J and Hoyler M (eds.) (2018) Doing Global Urban Research. Sage: London.

Morris J, Harrison J, Genovese A, Goucher L and Koh SCL (2017) Energy policy under austerity localism: what role for local authorities? Local Government Studies 43 (6) 882-892.

Harrison J and Turok I (2017) Universities, knowledge and regional developmentRegional Studies 51 (7) 977-981.

Harrison J, Smith DP and Kinton C (2017) Relational regions 'in the making': institutionalizing new regional geographies of higher educationRegional Studies 51 (7) 1020-1034.

Harrison J (2017) Constructing alternative paths to city-region policy and governance. In, Deas I and Hincks S (eds.) Territorial Policy and Governance: Alternative Paths. Routledge: London.

Kinton C, Smith DP and Harrison J (2016) De-studentification: emptying housing and neighbourhoods of student populationsEnvironment and Planning A 48 (8) 1617-1635.

Harrison JSmith DP and Kinton C (2015) New institutional geographies of higher education: the rise of transregional university alliances Environment and Planning A 48 (5) 910-936

Harrison J and Heley J (2015) Governing beyond the metropolis: placing the rural in city-region development Urban Studies, 52 (6), 1113-1133

Harrison J and Hoyler M (eds.) (2015) Megaregions: Globalization’s New Urban Form? Edward Elgar: Cheltenham.