Current Research Areas
1) Global Economy and Development. I especially focus on dimensions of global knowledge and economic/sustainable development. In particular, I focus on how local and regional cultures and institutions shape 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. I pay close attention to the issues of identity, racism and cultural encounters. I examine how migration shapes identity and the global knowledge economy. In particular, I look at high-skilled professionals, academics, immigrants and international students.
3) International Relations Theories, especially IR theories beyond the West. In particular, I look at the emerging Chinese IR theories and various Chinese conceptions of the world. More broadly, I also focus on 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. More practically, I apply theories to understand foreign policies and grand strategies.
4) Global City, especially Urbanization and Megaprojects. I am especially interested in the megaprojects and city clusters in the making, such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Areas 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 special 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. The political economy and rapid changes in 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.
Beyond my current academic disciplines, I occasionally do research and 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) Popular/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 try to adapt suitable methods to study the complex phenomena in the global economy, international relations and global migration.
Regions of Research
I primarily focus on Western Europe, East Asia and North America.
Occasionally, I also research and write about Southeast Asia and Latin America.