Dr Karen Lai
|Associate Professor in the Department of Geography||228||+44 (0) 191 33 41865|
|Associate Professor , Economy and Culture||228||+44 (0) 191 33 41865|
I am an economic geographer with research expertise on financial geography. My research interests include geographies of money and finance, global cities, FinTech, service sectors and market formation, focusing particularly on issues of financialisation, knowledge networks, and economic development in Asia. I received my Bachelor and Master degrees in Geography from the National University of Singapore and completed my PhD in Economic Geography at the University of Nottingham. Prior to Durham University, I was previously based at the National University of Singapore and University of British Columbia (Canada).
I am currently the strategic lead on internationalisation for the Department of Geography at Durham University. I am a founding member and current Secretary of the Global Network on Financial Geography (FinGeo). My journal work includes Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Finance and Space, Associate Editor for Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, journal editorial boards of Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, Geoforum, Geography Compass (Economic section) and Progress in Economic Geography, and the international advisory board of the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.
I am currently working on two main projects. One focuses on how FinTech (financial technology) is shaping consumer practices and competitive relationships between financial institutions and technology companies. The other examines the growth of data centres in Southeast Asia, to consider differentiated roles of data services in financial centres and the environmental impacts of data centre growth.
A previous stand of research examines the business organisation and networks of investment banks and law firms in Asia and their implications for financial centre development and global/regional financial networks. I was also working on financial subject formation and the financialisation of everyday life, using empirical findings from Asia to build theoretical arguments on financial ecologies and state-led financialisation.
- Geographies of money and finance
- International financial centre
- Fintech and digital economies
- Global production/financial networks
- Global cities and world city networks
- Markets and varieties of capitalism/variegated capitalism
- Political economy and development in Asia
Available for media contact about:
- Business, Economics & Employment: Financial centre development
- Business, Economics & Employment: Banking and finance
- Business, Economics & Employment: Global financial networks and business services
- Service sector, retail & tourism: Global financial networks and business services
- Business, Economics & Employment: Banks, technology firms, platforms and FinTech
- Business, Economics & Employment: Global cities in East and Southeast Asia
- Asia (excluding Middle East): Global cities in East and Southeast Asia
- Business, Economics & Employment: Financial literacy and education
- Consumer behaviour and marketing: Financial literacy and education
- Asia (excluding Middle East): Financial literacy and consumer practice
Chapter in book
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2022). Financial Geography. In International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology. Richardson, Douglas Castree, Noel Goodchild, Michael Kobayashi, Audrey Liu, Weidong & Marston, Richard Wiley.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2020). FinTech: The dis/re-intermediation of finance? In The Routledge Handbook of Financial Geography. Knox-Hayes, Janelle & Wójcik, Dariusz Routledge. 440-458.
- Stolz, Dennis & Lai, Karen P.Y. (2020). Impact Investing, Social Enterprise and Global Development. In The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization. Mader, Phil, Mertens, Daniel & van der Zwan, Natascha Routledge. 288-300.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2018). Singapore: Connecting Asian markets with global finance. In International Financial Centres: After the Global Financial Crisis and Brexit. Cassis, Youssef & Wojcik, Dariusz Oxford University Press. 154-181.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2018). Financialisation of everyday life. In The New Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography. Clark, Gordon L., Feldmann, Maryann P. Gertler, Meric & Wojcik, Dariusz Oxford University Press. 611-627.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. & Daniels, Joseph A. (2017). Financialization of Singaporean banks and the production of variegated financial capitalism. In Money and Finance After the Crisis: Critical Thinking for Uncertain Times. Christophers, Brett, Leyshon, Andrew & Mann, Geoff Wiley-Blackwell. 217-244.
- Bailey, Adrian J., Breines, Markus, Emmerson, Phil, Esson, James, Halvorsen, Sam, Hope, Jessica Chloe, Joronen, Mikko, Koh, Sin Yee, Krishnan, Sneha, Lai, Karen, McFarlane, Colin, Reid, Louise & Sparke, Matthew (2023). Care for Transactions. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Wiley.
- Lai, Karen PY (2023). Financial geography I: The state-finance nexus. Progress in Human Geography
- Fang, Cheng, Pan, Fenghua & Lai, Karen P.Y. (2023). The brokerage role of Hong Kong in global financial networks: the case of mainland Chinese companies’ US Listings. Regional Studies 57(2): 317-329.
- Liu, Felicia HM & Lai, Karen PY (2021). Ecologies of green finance: Green sukuk and development of green Islamic finance in Malaysia. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 53(8): 1896-1914.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. & Pan, Fenghua (2021). Brexit and shifting geographies of financial centres in Asia. Geoforum 125: 201-202.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. & Samers, Michael (2021). Towards an economic geography of FinTech. Progress in Human Geography 45(4): 720-739.
- Lai, Karen P. Y., Lin, Shaun & Sidaway, James D. (2020). Financing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): research agendas beyond the “debt-trap” discourse. Eurasian Geography and Economics 61(2): 109-124.
- Gemici, Kurtulus & Lai, Karen P. Y. (2020). How 'global' are investment banks? An analysis of investment banking networks in Asian equity capital markets. Regional Studies 54(2): 149-161.
- Lai, Karen P.Y., Pan, Fenghua, Sokol, Martin & Wójcik, Dariusz (2020). New Financial Geographies of Asia. Regional Studies 54(2): 143-148.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2018). Agency, power, and state-firm relations in global financial networks. Dialogues in Human Geography 8(3): 285-288.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2017). Unpacking financial subjectivities: Intimacies, governance and socioeconomic practices in financialisation. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 35(5): 913-932.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. & Samers, Michael (2017). Conceptualizing Islamic banking and finance: a comparison of its development and governance in Malaysia and Singapore. The Pacific Review 30(3): 405-424
- Lai, Karen (2017). Review of world city network. Urban Geography 38(1): 153-154.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2016). Financial advisors, financial ecologies and the variegated financialisation of everyday investors. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41(1): 27-40.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2015). Banking Across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism by Brett Christophers. Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013, pp. xi + 290 (ISBN: 978-1-4443-3828-7). Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 36(1): 127-128.
- Clark, Gordon L., Lai, Karen P. Y. & Wójcik, Dariusz (2015). Editorial Introduction to the Special Section: Deconstructing Offshore Finance. Economic Geography 91(3): 237-249.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. & Tan, Choon Hang (2015). "Neighbours First, Bankers Second" Mobilising financial citizenship in Singapore. Geoforum 64: 65-77.
- Coe, Neil M., Lai, Karen P.Y. & Wójcik, Dariusz (2014). Integrating Finance into Global Production Networks. Regional Studies 48(5): 761-777.
- Lai, Karen P.Y. (2013). The Lehman Minibonds crisis and financialisation of investor subjects in Singapore. Area 45(3): 273-282.