Dr John Harrison

PhD (Aberystwyth University)

Pronouns: He/him
  • School Associate Dean for Research & Innovation
  • Reader in Human Geography

Academic Career

  • 2024-present: Associate Dean (Research & Innovation), School of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • 2016-onwards: 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

  • 2023- : Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Regional Studies
  • 2020- : Board Member and Trustee, Regional Studies Association
  • 2019- : Adjunct Professor, Hunan University, China
  • 2013- : Editor, Urban and Regional HorizonsRegional Studies
  • 2013- : Associate Director, GaWC

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

John’s research interests lie within the broad scope of political-economic geography, with a specific focus on the planning and governance of cities and regions. This work centres around three 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-regions and metropolitan regions
  • Planning and governing cities and regions

Global Urban Studies

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


John's teaching examines political and economic globalization with a focus on cities and regions.

Current Postgraduate Research Students

  • Lingjia Zhao: Rural planning in China: planning the new countryside
  • Carla Cannone: Climate compatible growth
  • Jiaying Xue: Polycentricity in China’s ‘Greater Bay’ area
  • Naomi Tan: From energy modelling to funding applications: what dataset must we need to financially realize climate-compatible growth?

Recent Postgraduate Research Students

  • Swayam Das (2020) Placing Indian cities in the world city network: a firm-level spatial and temporal study
  • Richard Sieff (2020) Decentralised energy governance in the global south: political decentralisation and energy access in Kenya
  • Ozgur Sayin (2018) Istanbul - the making of a ‘global city' between East and West
  • 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