NUS geographer Prof Henry Yeung clinches prestigious global award for lifetime contributions to research

NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Distinguished Professor Henry Yeung has been awarded the prestigious 2022 Sir Peter Hall Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field by the influential Regional Studies Association (RSA). The annual RSA awards recognise research works that have made an original and outstanding contribution to the analysis of regions and regional issues.  

Prof Yeung has been widely regarded as one of the world’s leading academic experts in global production networks, global value chains, and East Asian firms and developmental states in the global economy. He is the first recipient from outside North America and the UK and the second youngest recipient of the annual Sir Peter Hall Award. He joins a select group of academic luminaries in regional and urban research such as pre-eminent urban planner and geographer, the late Sir Peter Hall; Meric Gertler, economic geographer and President of the University of Toronto; Jamie Peck, institutional political economist from the University of British Columbia; American scholar of urban planning, Susan Fainstein from the Harvard Graduate School of Design; and Dutch-American sociologist Saskia Sassen from Columbia University.

Prof Yeung, who is also Co-Director of the Global Production Networks Centre at FASS, said, “I am very grateful to the RSA for recognising my interdisciplinary work on East Asian regional development in an interconnected world of global production networks”.

In her citation, Prof Sarah Ayres, Treasurer of the RSA Board shared, “Henry Yeung is a long-[time] friend to the RSA…Henry has one of the most impressive CVs in the business. He’s published more than 100 journal articles. The RSA wants to celebrate Henry’s academic achievements.”

“In addition to his intellectual contributions, it’s his values as part of the regional studies community that’s also made him a worthy recipient of the Sir Peter Hall Award. Henry has contributed actively not only to university life through research and teaching, but he’s also provided evidence and opinions to policy organisations including the United Nations and the Commonwealth Secretariat,” she added.

Based at NUS Geography throughout his entire academic career after completing his PhD at the University of Manchester in 1995, Professor Yeung has previously been honoured with top awards in Geography for his pathbreaking and highly cited research in economic geography and regional studies. These include the 2018 American Association of Geographers Distinguished Scholarship Honors “in recognition of his extraordinary scholarship and leadership in the discipline”, and the UK’s Royal Geographical Society Murchison Award 2017 for “pioneering publications in the field of globalisation”. He was also a recipient of the inaugural NUS University Research Recognition Award 2018, the NUS Outstanding Researcher Award (2008), and the NUS Outstanding University Researcher Award (1998).

His work has been published in monographs with prestigious university presses (Stanford, 2022; Cornell, 2016; and Oxford, 2015) and in top disciplinary journals in geography, regional studies, international political economy, and international business studies. He was ranked 16th among 12,897 authors in the field of Geography in the November 2020 study of the world’s top 2 per cent of scientists, led by Stanford University’s John Ioannidis.

Prof Yeung’s latest book is entitled Interconnected Worlds: Global Electronics and Production Networks in East Asia. Published by Stanford University Press, it looks at the transformative shift in global electronics from various national centres of production to globalised production worldwide. He is currently working on another book entitled Theory and Explanation in Geography that looks at how and why geographers can develop better explanatory theories for the wider social sciences.

About the Regional Studies Association

Established in the United Kingdom in 1965, the Regional Studies Association is one of the world’s most influential learned societies in the interdisciplinary field of regional and urban research, development and policy. The RSA counts members from 79 countries and comprises an international network of policymakers, academics and practitioners. Regional studies is a field of interdisciplinary research that focuses on the sub-national, such as city and regional development, urbanisation, economic inequalities and migration issues. The research not only crosses the boundaries of countries, but also the disciplines of geography, economics, sociology and planning.