Professor Henry Wai-chung YEUNG

BA (NUS, 1992) and PhD (Manchester, 1995)

Distinguished Professor, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore


A Brief Biography: At 11 years old, I left my birthplace Guangzhou, China, and emigrated with my family to Hong Kong in 1979. After seven years of secondary education in Hong Kong's Diocesan Boys' School (O-Level Class of 1986 and A-Level 1988), I came to Singapore in July 1988 to pursue my higher education and future life. I graduated with B.A. First Class Honours in Geography from the National University of Singapore in July 1992. I then obtained my Ph.D, under the supervision of Professor Peter Dicken, from the School of Geography, University of Manchester in England in 1995 and returned to start my career at the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore. I was Senior Tutor (1992-1995), Lecturer (1996-1998), Assistant Professor (1998-1999), and Associate Professor (2000-2005). Since July 2005, I have been Professor of Economic Geography. Since February 2018, I have been appointed Distinguished Professor of the National University of Singapore in recognition of my "outstanding academic excellence as well as academic and intellectual leadership" (download full CV July 2023).

Over the past three decades (!!!), I have had an incredibly  fortunate academic career and enjoyed great support from various friends, colleagues, and institutions. In 2017, my work was recognized by BOTH the American Association of Geographers (United States) and the Royal Geographical Society (United Kingdom). They are two of the world's leading professional associations for academic geographers. In December 2017, I was selected by the American Association of Geographers to receive the AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors for 2018  "in recognition of his extraordinary scholarship and leadership in the discipline”. AAG Honors are the highest awards offered by the American Association of Geographers and remain among the most prestigious awards in American geography that have been awarded since 1951. Earlier in June 2017, I was conferred the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Murchison Award 2017 in the UK for “pioneering publications in the field of globalisation” (see RGS press release and NUS press release). Awarded since 1882, the Murchison Award is the most senior among all RGS awards. Full citation for my award and acceptance speech delivered at the RGS in London on 5 June 2017 are available here. For these achievements, my university has awarded me the University Research Recognition Award 2018 at the University Awards 2018 ceremony on 14 May 2018 (see videos of citations by NUS President and Senior VP; citations in print here). More recently in November 2022, the influential UK-based learned society Regional Studies Association conferred me its highest scholarship recognition - the 2022 Sir Peter Hall Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field at its Winter Conference in London (see NUS News for details and RSA photos for the dinner event). 

Earlier on in my career, I was a recipient of the National University of Singapore Outstanding University Researcher Award 1998 and Outstanding Researcher Award 2008 and Institute of British Geographers Economic Geography Research Group Best Published Paper Award in 1998. During the 2002-2003 period, I was awarded the Commonwealth Fellowship and the Fulbright Foreign Research Award to spend my sabbatical leave at the University of Manchester, UK, and the University of Washington at Seattle, US. In February 2006, I led a team residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. In the second half of 2006, I was appointed as Visiting Researcher at the International Center for the Study of East Asian Economies (ICSEAD), Kitakyushu, Japan, the University of Auckland Distinguished Visitor, and Visiting Professor, University of Hong Kong. I also hold adjunct professorship and research positions at Henan University, China, and the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Between 2007 and 2010, I was appointed Honorary Professorial Fellow, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, UK. In September 2012, I was conferred Academician by the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK (see FASS News). In November 2012, I took up a Writing Residency Fellowship at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study and Conference Center in Italy. In 2013, I was on sabbatical leave at the University of Sydney, Australia, where I was appointed as Visiting Professor at the School of Geosciences.

My research interests cover broadly theories and the geography of transnational corporations, global production networks and global value chains, East Asian firms and developmental states in the global economy. I have conducted extensively research on Hong Kong firms in Southeast Asia, the regionalization of Singaporean companies, the emergence of leading Asian firms in the global economy, and most recently, the interconnected worlds of electronics global production networks. In June 2022, my new book entitled Interconnected Worlds: Global Electronics and Production Networks in East Asia was published by Stanford University Press in its Innovation and Technology in the World Economy series  (see ToC and Preface here and Author-Meets-Critics at SASE Amsterdam Conference - click here at 4:40:00). In March 2023, Interconnected Worlds was awarded Silver Medal in the Business Theory Category from the 2023 Axiom Business Book Awards. Previous medalists include Nobel laureate Robert Shiller, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin. Since 2021, I have been working on a new book on Geography's epistemology, contracted with the Wiley's RGS-IBG Book Series. Entitled Theory and Explanation in Geographyit is now in production for publication in November 2023: ToC and Preface in proofs here      . Author-Meets-Critics session at London RGS-IBG Ondaatje Theatre, 1 Sept 2023 (here).

I had previously completed two major book projects during the 2010s: Strategic Coupling: East Asian Industrial Transformation in the New Global Economy (Cornell Studies in Political Economy Series, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, May 2016; Prelims and ToC here) and Global Production Networks: Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World (co-authored with Neil Coe and published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, April 2015). In July 2014 and as Principal Investigator, I was awarded a US$4 million strategic grant by the National University of Singapore to establish the Global Production Networks Centre at NUS. Co-directed with Professor Neil Coe and with a team of founding faculty members, this GPN@NUS Centre has started in October 2014 and is expected to pursue cutting-edge academic research during the grant tenure (till September 2018) and thereafter. Between 2015 and 2020, I served as Director of the JY Pillay Comparative Asia Research Centre hosted in the NUS Global Asia Institute.

To date, I have 110 papers published or forthcoming in internationally-refereed journals (including over 20 papers in most of the Top 10 Geography journals and 40 papers in most of the Top 20 Geography journals ranked in the ISI Journal Citation Reports 2017) and 50 chapters in edited books. Prior to my two recent books (2015 Oxford UP and 2016 Cornell UP), I had published three single-authored monographs: Transnational Corporations and Business Networks: Hong Kong Firms in the ASEAN Region (Routledge, London, 1998), Entrepreneurship and the Internationalisation of Asian Firms: An Institutional Perspective (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2002), Chinese Capitalism in a Global Era (Routledge, London, 2004) and co-authored another major economic geography textbook with Neil Coe and Phil Kelly: Economic Geography: A Contemporary Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2007/2nd edition in 2013/3rd edition in 2020). I also edited and co-edited seven books: Global Value Chains and Global Production Networks: Changes in the International Political Economy (Routledge, London, 2015), Globalizing Regional Development in East Asia (Routledge, London, 2010), Handbook of Research on Asian Business (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2007), The Globalization of Business Firms from Emerging Economies, Two Volumes (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 1999), Remaking the Global Economy: Economic-Geographical Perspectives (Sage, London, 2003), Globalization of Chinese Business Firms (Macmillan, London, 2000), and Globalisation and the Asia-Pacific: Contested Territories, (Routledge, London, 1999). I also served as the economic geography section editor of almost 100 entries for the International Encyclopedia in Human Geography, 12 Volumes, Elsevier, 2009. I was one of the ten Area Editors assisting the Editor-in-Chief in the International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 25 Volumes, Elsevier, 2015.

Since 2001, I have served as an Editor of three prestigious social science journals (Environment and Planning A, Economic Geography, Review of International Political Economy 2004-2013), Asia-Pacific Editor of Global Networks: Journal of Transnational Affairs, and Business Manager of Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. I also sit on the editorial boards of about 20 other international journals in the fields of human geography, management, urban studies, area studies, and general social science, such as Asia Pacific Journal of Management, European Urban and Regional Studies, Journal of Economic Geography, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, East Asia: An International Quarterly, Eurasian Geography and Economics, and Growth and Change: A Journal of Urban and Regional Policy.

As of July 2023, my work has been cited by over 4,856 publications abstracted in the ISI Web of Science Core Collection (excluding self-citations; h-index = 38). My work has more extensive influence in materials that can be searched via Google Scholar (over 25,000 citations). Including Dicken et al. (2001) in Global Networks, two of my books (2015 with Neil Coe, Oxford UP and 2016, Cornell UP) and   19   journal papers have EACH been cited over 100 times in the ISI WoS database. Six of these publications are highly cited, with 287 to 1,176 citations each. According to the ISI Essential Science Indicators(2002-2012), I was ranked 241st highly cited scientist among 4,672 entries in the field of Social Sciences, General. According to the ISI ESI, I am the author of three papers listed in "Highly Cited Papers (last 10 years)" (Coe, Hess, Yeung et al., 2004; Yeung, 2005; 2009). Defined by the ISI as "the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact", these highly cited papers are ranked respectively as No.1 and No.3 of the Top 5 papers from Singapore in Social Sciences, General. My 2002 jointly authored paper on global production networks, published in Review of International Political Economy, is currently ranked as No.2 top paper from Singapore in Economics and Business. In a 2010 ranking of 341 well cited human geographers published in Journal of Economic Geography (Vol.10), I was ranked 29th on the basis of my regular h-index of 19. On the basis of age-weighted h-index, I was ranked first among the Top 50 human geographers. On Microsoft Academic Search, I am ranked second in the list of Top Authors in Geography. 

In November 2020 (updated in Sept 2022), I was ranked 16th  with C-score 4.231  among 12,897 authors in the subject field of Geograpy and 8,857th among almost 160,000 top 2% scientists in all 176 subject-fields in Stanford University's study of the top two percent of scientists in the World (led by Dr John Ioannidis). In this study, about 159,684 top scientists of the world were organised into 22 scientific fields and 176 subject-fields on the basis of standardised citation indicators, such as citations, an individual's scientific research output or H-index, co-authorship, and a composite indicator for career-long impact. The analysis was conducted using citations from Scopus along with data assessing scientists for career-long citation impact till the year 2019 and for citation impact during a single calendar year (reported in NUS Business School news, November 2020).   


Video of RSA Sir Peter Hall Award 2022 ceremony in London, 10 Nov. and report in  NUS News. 

My views on "chips war" and international trade at the 2023 Heckscher-Ohlin Conference, 11 May 2023, Stockholm, on YouTube (starting at 6:35-7:04). 


New book, Nov 2023, with Wiley's RGS-IBG Book Series. RGS AMC 1 Sept 2023   

June 2022 New monograph with Stanford University Press and my recent photo with the book!        



2020 Regional Studies Annual Lecture - full paper in 2021 Vol.55(6: 989-1010) free here.

Full lecture video on YouTube  

2016 monograph with Cornell University Press

2015 theory book with Oxford University Press (with Neil Coe)

Department of Geography
National University of Singapore
1 Arts Link, Singapore 117570
Office: (65) 6516-6810; Fax: (65) 6777-3091
Email: HenryYeung@nus.edu.sg; Homepage: http://courses.nus.edu.sg/course/geoywc/henry.htm

Copyright © 2000 Henry Wai-chung Yeung
Last Updated on 23 July  2023