Current Research Areas
1) Global Economy and Development. I focus on the various practices in the global knowledge economy and competing visions of economic/sustainable development. In particular, I try to understand how local and regional cultures and institutions shape social and economic development. Recently, I have also looked at the restructuring of global value chains and supply chains as well as the future of work in a new era.
2) Global Migration. Specifically, I look at the mobility of high-skilled professionals, academics, and international students in the global knowledge economy. Moreover, I pay close attention to the issues of identity, racism and cultural encounters.
3) International Relations Theories. I especially look at IR theories beyond the West and try to understand how non-Western epistemologies, ontologies and cosmologies inform the different conceptualizations of the key concepts in IR, such as power transition, hegemony, state, security, global order, and international/world society. My expertise lies in emerging Chinese IR theories and various Chinese conceptions of the world.
4) Global City. I am especially interested in urbanization in emerging global cities and megaprojects in the making, such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and the Greater Toronto Area.
5) Sociology of Global Knowledge and Culture. I investigate how knowledge and culture are produced, disseminated and reproduced. Concerning knowledge production, a particular emphasis is on various academic disciplines in social sciences and how different stages of the knowledge production process position in the global value chain.
6) Global Higher Education. Rapid changes in the political economy of universities are of particular interest. I try to ascertain the forces that drive the current rapid global transformation of universities, such as university ranking, scientific collaboration, international students and research funding.
Generally, I'm a very curious person. Thus, I do research beyond my current research areas. Occasionally, I write about the following areas:
1) I have an unexhausted curiosity about European and Chinese history and philosophy. I approach them from a global history approach that emphasizes civilizational encounters, cultural interactions and transformation.
2) Pop music in America and Asia. Classical music and techno music in Europe. Recently, I have researched Cantonese Pop Music in the 70s, 80s and early 90s (arguably in the golden era of Canto-Pop). Also, I look at K-pop, or Hallyu, as a transnational and transcultural phenomenon.
3) Modernity and modernization. For example, I examine the origin and development of romantic love and how it defines modernity.
4) Methods, such as statistical analysis, econometrics and computational methods. I try to stay up-to-date with the latest methods and research designs in social sciences and adapt suitable methods to study the complex phenomena in the global economy, international relations and global migration.
5) Philosophy and History of Science and Social Sciences.
Regions of Focus
I primarily focus on Western Europe, East Asia and North America.
Occasionally, I also research and write about Southeast Asia and Latin America.