Dr John Harrison

PhD Aberystwyth University

Pronouns: He/him
  • Research and Innovation Director (Geography & Environment)
  • 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:

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