School of Geography

Image of Sarah Hall

Sarah Hall

Professor of Economic Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences



My research examines the interconnections between markets, power and elites under conditions of finance led capitalism. I am particularly concerned with understanding how what is often conceived of as 'the international financial system' or 'global finance' is rendered economically and politically powerful through a combination of place specific practices, local institutional landscapes and multi-scalar socio-economic relations.

I am committed to demonstrating the value of developing geographically sensitive understandings of the economy by working at the nexus of economic geography, economic sociology, cultural economy and the social studies of finance. My work is characterised by positioning financial elites, analytically and methodologically, as the entry point into these debates. Using this approach, I undertake detailed predominately qualitative empirical research. Supported by funding from the ESRC, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust and the Nuffield Foundation, the majority of my research centres on London's international financial district and its relations with North America, Europe and, increasingly, China.

These research interests have been developed through three main strands of work

(1) Geographies of markets and marketization

(2) The economic geography of contemporary financial elites

(3) Politics, power and rethinking international financial centres

I was appointed an Editor of Geoforum in 2013 and have been awarded a British Academy Mid Career Fellowship (2015-2017).

Research Summary

Research projects

2015-2016 British Academy Mid Career Fellowship 'New mobile elites: motivations, experiences and trajectories of highly skilled Chinese migrants in London'. £102,515

2015-2019 Leverhulme Trust Programme Grant on Sustaining Urban habitats: an interdisciplinary approach (Co-investigator, PI Professor Darren Robinson, total grant £1.75m)

2011-2014: British Academy 'Globalizing for-profit business education service firms and the making of education markets in the UK and US

2008-2010: ESRC First Grant 'Spaces of business education and the (re)production of financial theory in practice'. £189,350.

2009: Financial Services Research Forum 'The wholesale-retail finance interface' with Prof Jon Beaverstock (Co-I), £8,690.

2009: Financial Services Research Forum 'Scoping the private wealth management of the high net work market in the UK's financial services industry'. Co-investigator with Prof Jon Beaverstock (P-I), £9,950.

2006-2007: ESRC, 'The globalization of the executive search industry in Europe'. Co-investigator with Prof Jon Beaverstock (P-I) and Dr James Faulconbridge (Co-I, Lancaster University). £44,968.

2005-2007: The Nuffield Foundation, 'Geographies of quantitative finance: American business schools and investment banking in London's financial district'. £7,456.

Selected Publications

School of Geography

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