Andrew Wood

  • 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 background 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 research 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 best theorize and understand the interests engaged in governing cities. This is reflected in my work on the property development industry in the U.S. along with a series of projects on the construction and mobilization of local business interests, in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

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

The tension between fixity and mobility also underpins my work with Gavin Bridge (Durham University) on the geographical reach of the international oil industry. We are principally interested in the changing geographies of knowledge in the industry and how different forms of knowledge and knowing help and/or hinder the globalization of US oil firms.

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

If you have an interest in these research projects or the publications associated with them then please get in touch.

Selected Publications: 


2017 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, p231.

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, p192.

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

2011    Wood A, The politics of local and regional development, in A Pike, A Rodriquez-Pose and J Tomany (eds), Handbook of Local and Regional Development, Routledge, 306-317.

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, Conflict, power and politics in the city, in P Hubbard, R Kitchen and G Valentine (eds), Key Texts in Human Geography, Sage, 33-42.

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, p317.

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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