ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION AND TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS
This major theme of my research focuses on the multi-faceted processes of economic globalization and the role of transnational corporations in driving these processes of global economic change. I have been conducting this research theme through both theoretical and empirical work. In terms of theory, I am particularly interested in the complex relationships between economic globalization and spatial organization. In my earliest theoretical paper on the interrelationships between capital, state, and space in the globalizing era, published in Geography’s Tier 1 journal Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2nd in Geography, 2003 SSCI) in late 1998, I showed how economic globalization does not lead to the demise of the nation-state and thus the end of geography. Instead, I argued that state and space continue to constitute and shape in very dynamic ways the processes of economic globalization.
To take stock, my research achievements in this theme on economic globalization are evident in the successful publications of at least five theoretical papers in leading Geography and Social Sciences journals, four edited books, and two special issues of internationally refereed journals (see full references Publication):
Olds, Kris, Dicken, Peter, Kelly, Philip, Kong, Lily and Yeung, Henry Wai-chung (eds.) (1999), Globalisation and the Asia-Pacific: Contested Territories, London: Routledge. ISBN: 0-415-19920-4, 293pp.
Yeung, Henry Wai-chung (ed.) (1999), The Globalization of Business Firms from Emerging Economies, Two Volumes, The Globalization of the World Economy Series, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. ISBN: 1-84064-053-7, 1,145pp.
Yeung, Henry Wai-chung and Olds, Kris (eds.) (2000), Globalization of Chinese Business Firms, New York: Macmillan. ISBN: 0-333-71629-9, 326pp.
Peck, Jamie and Yeung, Henry Wai-chung (eds.) (2003), Remaking the Global Economy: Economic-Geographical Perspectives, London: Sage. ISBN: 0-7619-4898-8, 256 pp
Yeung, Henry Wai-chung and Dicken, Peter (eds.) (2000), ‘Special Issue: Economic globalisation and the tropical world in the new millennium’, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Vol.21(3), pp.225-373.
Coe, Neil M. and Yeung, Henry Wai-chung (eds.) (2001), ‘Geographical perspectives on international trade and investment’, Journal of Economic Geography, Vol.1(4), pp.367-456.
My two major recent papers on globalization in Review of International Political Economy (2000) and Economic Geography (2002) are likely to contribute to globalization theory from outside the Anglo-American centres (see Table 2). Together with colleagues in Britain and North America, I have published another three key theoretical papers on global production networks in Global Networks (2001) and Review of International Political Economy (2002), and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2004). To date, the first two papers have received some attention in social science studies of globalization and global production networks (see Table 2). Since its publication in late 2001, the joint paper in Global Networks has been cited 52 times. Taking into account of the publication time lag and the journal’s relative youth, this citation rate is rather remarkable.
On the other hand, my research on economic globalization goes well beyond theory to embrace some significant and large-scale empirical research projects ontransnational corporations. In these collaborative projects, I seek to show how processes of economic globalization are mediated by the strategies and organizational activities of transnational corporations, whether they are from Asia and elsewhere in Western Europe and North America.
Two recently completed empirical research projects are useful examples here. During the 1997-2001 period, my colleagues and I completed a major NUS-funded project on Singapore’s Global Reach (S$161,041 or US$90,000; RP970013). In this project, we analyzed the nature of economic and socio-cultural interconnections linking Singapore with regions around the world – East and Southeast Asia, the European Union (EU), and Australia. We also organized a high profile multi-disciplinary workshop through which leading international scholars on globalization and regionalization advanced knowledge on the topic and we used this workshop as a vehicle to refine our research framework. The research output of this project was fairly impressive in terms of three authored books, three edited books, and 20 IR journal papers. As a direct outcome of this project, I was invited to give the Second GaWC Annual Lecture entitled “Global Cities and Developmental States: Understanding Singapore's Global Reach” on 7 March 2000 at the Research Centre on Globalization and World Cities (GaWC), Loughborough University, UK.
In another recently completed project, I was invited in 2000 as a foreign collaborator by Professors Peter Dicken (University of Manchester, the UK) and Jeffrey Henderson (Manchester Business School) to join a major international research project on “Global Production Networks in Britain, East Asia and Eastern Europe”. The 3-year project (May 2000-May 2003) was subsequently awarded and funded for £335,000 by the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK. My role in the project was to coordinate and manage the Asia-segment of corporate interviews and field research. I was also fully involved in the entire conceptualization of the project and the writing of research outputs (e.g. Henderson et al., 2000; Coe et al., 2004). The project was given a “Good/Outstanding” rating in the End of Project Evaluation by the external reviewers of the ESRC: “Good quality research making a useful contribution to the development of the subject. A Good grade indicates a project whose research activities and contribution is fully commensurate with the level of award, approach and subject area, and which has addressed its major objectives”.
Department of Geography
National University of Singapore
1 Arts Link, Singapore 117570
Office: (65) 874-6810; Fax: (65) 777-3091
Email: HenryYeung@nus.edu.sg; Homepage: http://courses.nus.edu.sg/course/geoywc/henry.htm