Andrew Wood

awood6's picture
  • Associate Professor
  • Geography
  • Social Theory
857 Patterson Office Tower
(859) 257-1744
Research Interests:

Ph.D. Ohio State University, M.A. Ohio State University, B.A. University of Liverpool


With a training in economic and urban geography my research has broadly focused on two related themes. The first is the political dynamics of urban development. I am particularly interested in the governance of the city  and how we might best understand the processes that enable and promote urban and suburban development. This interest is reflected in a number of research projects, the most recent of which (with Kevin Ward, Manchester) examines the politics of urban revitalization in Lexington, Kentucky. 

I have long been interested in how we might theorize and understand the interests engaged in governing cities. My work on the property development industry in the United States and an earlier set of projects on the construction and mobilization of local business interests, in both the United States and the United Kingdom, are centered on the question of how powerful economic interests seek to shape the nature and form of the city.

The second theme is the endemic tension between the mobility and fixity of economic forms and practices. This dates back to my PhD work and is one of the three relationships central to my recent textbook with Sue Roberts

The 'stickiness' of economic activity is key to a second ongoing research project, with Nick Phelps (University of Melbourne), examining the growth and development of the location consulting industry. Location consultants or site selectors broker between large firms and communities seeking to attract icapital investment. We are principally interested in the role that consultants play in enabling the mobility of capital and in shaping the landscape of investment and disinvestment., including economic development policy. Findings from the project are outlined in two recent papers in Journal of Economic Geography and Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

If you have an interest in my research, the current research projects and/or the publications associated with them then please feel free to get in touch.

Selected Publications: 


2018 Phelps N and Wood A Promoting the global economy: the uneven development of the location consulting industry. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

2018 Phelps N and Wood A The business of location: site selection consultants and the mobilisation of knowledge in the location decision. Journal of Economic Geography

2012   Jonas A and Wood A (eds) Territory, the State and Urban Politics, Ashgate..

2012   Valler D, Phelps N and Wood A, Planning for growth? The implications of localism for ‘Science Vale’, Oxfordshire, UK, Town Planning Review, 83(4), 457-486.

2011    Wood A and Roberts S, Economic Geography: Places, Networks and Flows, Routledge.

2011    Phelps N and Wood A, The new post-suburban politics? Urban Studies, 48(12), 2591-2610.

2010   Bridge G and Wood A, Less is more: spectres of scarcity and the politics of resource access in the upstream oil sector, Geoforum, 41(4), 565-576.

2010   Phelps N, Wood A and Valler D, A postsuburban world?  An outline of a research agenda, Environment and Planning A, 42(2), 366-383.

2010   Valler D and Wood A, Conceptualizing local and regional economic development in the USA, Regional Studies, 44(2), 139-151.

2008  Wood A, The politics of local and regional development, in K Cox, M Low and J Robinson (eds), The Sage Handbook of Political Geography, Sage Publications, 531-544.

2006   Phelps N and Wood A, ‘Lost in Translation’? Local interests, global actors and inward investment regimes, Journal of Economic Geography, 6 (4), 493-515.

2005   Wood A, Scale and the comparative politics of urban governance, Space and Polity, 9 (3), 201-215.

2005   Bridge G and Wood A, Geographies of knowledge, practices of globalisation: learning from the oil exploration and production industry, Area, 37 (2), 199-208.

2004   Wood A and Valler D (eds), Governing local and regional economies: Institutions, politics and economic development, Ashgate, Aldershot.

2004   Wood A, Domesticating urban theory: British cities and the limits to US frameworks, Urban Studies, 41 (11), 2103-2118.

2004   Wood A, The scalar transformation of the commercial property development industry: A cautionary note on the limits to globalization, Economic Geography, 80 (2), 119-140.

1996    Wood A, Analysing the politics of local economic development: Making sense of cross-national convergence, Urban Studies, 33, 1281-1295.

1993    Wood A, Organizing for local economic development: Local economic development networks and prospecting for industry, Environment and Planning A, 25, 649-661.

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