Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Staff Profile

Professor Jane Pollard

Professor of Economic Geography



I am Professor of Economic Geography in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University, UK. I have an undergraduate degree in Geography from Sheffield University (UK), an MA in Geography from McMaster University (Canada) and a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of California Los Angeles (USA). My research interests span geographies of money and finance, the role of financial intermediaries in regional economic development and the changing nature and practices of economic geography as a sub-discipline. Current research focuses on the geo-economic, political and social constitution of financial networks, sub-prime debt markets and questions around institutional diversity and credit provision for low income groups.

Roles and Responsibilities

Lead Editor for Economic Geography Sept 1 2015-

In 2012 I was commissioned by ESRC to author the Economic Geography submission to the International Benchmarking Review of UK Human Geography

Director of Research in Geography (2004-2009, 2010-2014)                                   


BA Geography, Sheffield University,UK
MA Geography, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
PhD Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles


Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers
Association of American Geographers
Higher Education Academy

Honours and Awards

In 2019 I was awarded a Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS)

Visiting Faculty Fellow, Center for Place, Culture and Politics, City University New York 2014-
Visiting Professor Lewis Center, Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA 2014-15
Chair, Economic Geography Research Group, RGS-IBG (2003-6)

Google scholar: Click here. 





Research Interests

Geographies of money and finance; regional economic development; postcolonial economies; diverse economies; economic geography as a sub-discipline.

I am an economic geographer with interests in three broad areas of activity. First, I am interested in geographies of money and finance. A second, related, stream of work concerns the construction of diverse economies. Some of this work, undertaken with Nick Henry (Newcastle) and Cheryl McEwan (Durham), explored some of Birmingham’s transnational trading networks responsible for producing commodities such as Bhangra music and a wide range of Asian foods. Finally, I am interested in the changing nature and practices of economic geography as a sub-discipline. The theoretical concerns that pull these strands together include theorising the status of finance in economic development, geographical political economy and what are being called the 'new economic geographies'.

Recent and ongoing Work

Recent and ongoing work includes:

(1) Financialisation in Higher Educational Institutions in the US (with Ishara Cassellas Connors, Jessa Loomis and Emily Rosenman)

(2) The resurgence of subprime debt in auto loan markets in the US (with Evelyn Blumenberg and Stephen Brumbaugh)

I have also worked on a project entitled "Charitable giving practices amongst Somali migrant communities in London's East End"  (with Kavita Datta and Al James in the School of Geography at Queen Mary University, London). The project, funded through Queen Mary's centre for the Study of Migration, is part of a larger programme of research and is exploring Somali practices of charitable giving, community building and mutual support in the aftermath of recession. 

I have completed an ESRC funded project on the regulation of small firms (with Simon Down, Institute for International Management Practice, Anglia Ruskin University, Paul Richter (Newcastle University Business School) and Monder Ram (Centre for Research on Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship, De Montfort University). This interdisciplinary research adopted a longitudinal, multi-method framework to explore how small firms understand and respond to different forms of regulation in contrasting sectoral and geographic contexts. The research is being disseminated to academic audiences, policy makers in regional and national government, small business support organisations, consultant/lobbying bodies, legal organisations and trade unions. The initial tranche of writing for this will focus on the regulatory power of finance in shaping small firm behaviour.

Other work has explored the growth of Islamic financial markets and how their construction varies in different regional, regulatory, political and cultural contexts. I am also interested in the capacity of Islamic finance - whether delivered through banks, charities or other agencies- to support job creation and empowerment in low income areas.

I have also worked with colleagues (Alex Hughes, Uma Kothari, Nina Laurie, Cheryl McEwan and Alison Stenning) to explore different ways of thinking about the economic. Through our ESRC seminar series on Postcolonial economies, we brought together a dispersed international and interdisciplinary group of scholars from Geography, Economics, Development Studies, Anthropology, History, Cultural Studies and elsewhere to explore some of the challenges and possibilities of using postcolonial approaches to think about contemporary economies.

Research Roles

I sit on the Editorial Boards of:

Environment and Planning A

Growth and Change 

Geography Compass: Economic Geography

Postgraduate Supervision

Geographies of money and finance; regional economic development; diverse economies; entrepreneurship.

David Dodds Tech Nation UK? 'Placing' the local geographies of path creation in the digital sector (ESRC)

Tom Strickland "Financialising urban development? A US-UK comparison" (ESRC)

Charlotte Johnson "Private spaces and public utilities: Studying socioeconomic change in Serbian homes" (ESRC)

Emile Boustani " Financialisation, industrial activity and local development in Central Europe" (ESRC)

Liam Keenan " Financialisation and the decline of the local pub: an Anglo-German comparison" (ESRC)

Gemma Bone "The politics of debt: the struggle for social utility" (ESRC)

Waziri Galadima "Islamic home finance in the UK"

Ayham Rezk "Syrian population geography"

Gisela Zapata "Gender and social dimensions of migration and remittances"

Sam Randalls “Firms, finance and risk: hedging against the weather" (ESRC-NERC)

Jon Swords "Developing Northumberland’s Natural Heritage Cluster: Potentials, Problems and Pitfalls"(ESRC-CASE)

Paul Vallance "Knowledge in the UK videogames development sector: a practice based approach"(ESRC)

Lalith Welamedage "Developing technological capabilities in small and medium-sized enterprises: a study of the role of technology policies and support agencies in Sri Lanka”

Felicity Wray "Venture capitalism in the North East of England" (ESRC).


Research Funding:

2015 British Academy Geographies of Mobility: subprime debt in US auto loan markets (with Evelyn Blumenberg)

2011 - Centre for the Study of Migration, QMUL, Somali migrants' charitable giving practices in London's East End  (with Kavita Datta and Al James)

2009-2012 ESRC, Situating small business regulation: A longitudinal study of how small firms receive, understand and respond to regulation (with Simon Down & Paul Richter (Newcastle University Business School) and Monder Ram (De Montfort University))

2007-2008 British Academy, The production of trust: making Islamic finance in the UK and US (with Michael Samers, University of Kentucky)

2005-2007 ESRC Seminar Series, Postcolonial Economies, with Alex Hughes (GPS), Nina Laurie (GPS), Alison Stenning (CURDS), Uma Kothari (Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester), Cheryl McEwan (School of Geography, University of Durham).

2003-2004 ONE North East, Strategic Futures: The North East’s Financial Markets

2003 Faculty of Arts and Humanities Research Fund, University of Newcastle - Postcolonial economic geographies: mapping minority ethnic banks in the UK

2000-2001 Nuffield Foundation -Financial networks in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter 1750-2000 (with Francesca Carnevali, School of History, University of Birmingham)

1998 HSBC Holdings Small Research Grant - The circulation of conventions of restructuring in the banking industry


Undergraduate Teaching

GEO2099 Economic Geography

GEO3160 Economies in Crisis: Money and Labour

GEO334 Local and Regional Development

GEO3099 Dissertation module

Postgraduate Teaching

GEO8016 Philosophies in Human Geography
GEO8017 Concepts in Action