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13 JAN 2023 (FRI) 15:00-16:30


Geography Distinguished Webinars Series

Explaining the Interconnected Worlds of Global Production Networks: East Asian Electronics Industry in the Post-Pandemic 2020s

Date: 13 JAN 2023 (Friday)

Time: 15:00-16:30 (HKT)

Language: English

Venue: Chamber, Faculty of Social Sciences, 11/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

Registration link:



This seminar presentation draws on my earlier theory of global production networks (co-developed with Neil Coe) and my recent monograph Interconnected Worlds (Stanford University Press, June 2022) to offer some key observations on, and explanations of, the co-evolutionary trajectories of East Asian electronics global production networks in semiconductors, personal computers, mobile handsets, and consumer electronics up to the late 2010s – a historical peak period in the global markets for these intermediate and end products just before the devastating impacts arising from the US-China trade war since mid-2018 and the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020. While some of these trends had been established ahead of the 2010s, their intensity and significance became more apparent during the 2010s. I then examine their most significant implications for the global economy in the post-pandemic 2020s: (1) greater significance of East Asia as a major end market, (2) pro-ecosystem approach to capability development, supply ecosystems, and market access, and (3) strategic partnership through global production networks as the organizational key to resilience building. I end with a discussion of three relevant future research agendas on technology, resilience, and (geo)politics for the geographical studies of global production networks and global value chains.

Professor Henry YEUNG

Distinguished Professor, Department of Geography and GPN, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Speaker Bio:

Professor Henry Yeung has been Distinguished Professor at the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, since 2018, and Professor of Economic Geography since 2005. As a leading academic expert in global production networks and the global economy, his research interests cover broadly theories and the geography of transnational corporations, East Asian firms, and developmental states. He is the first geographer based in Asia to receive both 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”). In November 2022, he was conferred the 2022 Sir Peter Hall Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field by the Regional Studies Association in London: “acknowledging and celebrating excellence in the field of regional studies”. Professor Yeung has published 6 monographs and 1 textbook (3 editions), 7 edited books, 105 journal articles, and 50 book chapters. His most recent books are Interconnected Worlds: Global Electronics and Production Networks in East Asia (Innovation and Technology in the World Economy Series, Stanford University Press, June 2022), Strategic Coupling: East Asian Industrial Transformation in the New Global Economy (Cornell Studies in Political Economy Series, Cornell University Press, 2016), and Global Production Networks: Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World (with Neil Coe, Oxford University Press, 2015). As of September 2022, over 4,750 publications listed in the ISI Web of Science Core Collection databases cited his work (excluding self-citations; h-index = 37). Altogether, his work has been cited over 6,700 times by the same set of ISI WoS publications (24,000 citations on Google Scholar). He is among the top 20 most cited geographers in the November 2020 study of top 2% of world scientists, led by Stanford’s John Ioannidis, in 22 scientific fields and 176 sub-fields. For two decades since 2001, Professor Yeung has been editor of two top journals in Geography – Economic Geography and Environment and Planning A. He is also past editor of Review of International Political Economy (2004-2013) and serves on the editorial boards of 19 other journals.


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