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

2019-: Adjunct Professor, Hunan University, China
2013-: 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

John's research interests lie within the broad scope of political-economic geography, with a specific focus on cities and regions. Conceptually, his research seeks to uncover how new, generally more networked urban and regional spaces, are being (re)produced in globalization. To answer this, his 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 John's 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

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

Current postgraduate research students

  • Andreas Makris: “Between state spaces and logistics spaces: Greece’s becoming-hub as a process of state spatial restructuring and logistical governance”

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: the case of Kenya since the implementation of devolution"
  • 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"