Chips War?

Global Production Networks and Geopolitics in the Post-Pandemic U.S. and East Asia

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Henry Yeung of the University of Singapore addressed the highly contested, politicized nature of semiconductor global production networks since the U.S.-China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Bunche Hall, Rm 10383 (Hybrid with Zoom)

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This talk will be held in a hybrid format with both in-person and online formats available.

Register for Zoom link here

Based on my lead-authored chapter on semiconductors in Global Value Chain Development Report 2023 (WTO/ADB, October 2023) and my monograph Interconnected Worlds (Stanford University Press, June 2022), this presentation offers some key empirical observations on the highly contested and politicized nature of semiconductor global production networks since the US-China trade war and the Covid-19 pandemic. In this capital-intensive manufacturing industry, governance and power dynamics are manifested differently from many other industries due to highly complex technology regimes, production network ecosystems, and, more recently, geopolitical imperatives. While some of these critical dynamics had been in play ahead of the 2020s in China, Taiwan, and South Korea, their intensity and significance became more apparent by the early 2020s. I then examine their most significant implications for East Asian development in the post-pandemic 2020s and the need for strategic partnership with technology leaders towards building national and regional resilience in the United States, Western Europe, and East Asia. I end with a discussion of some relevant future research agendas on technology, resilience, and politics for the interdisciplinary studies of global production networks and global value chains.

Professor Henry Yeung has been Distinguished Professor at the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, since 2018, and Professor of Economic Geography since 2005. As a leading academic expert in global production networks and the global economy, his research interests cover broadly theories and the geography of transnational corporations, East Asian firms, and developmental states. He is the first geographer based in Asia to receive both the 2018 American Association of Geographers Distinguished Scholarship Honors (“in recognition of his extraordinary scholarship and leadership in the discipline”) and the UK’s Royal Geographical Society Murchison Award 2017 (for “pioneering publications in the field of globalisation”). In November 2022, he was conferred the 2022 Sir Peter Hall Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field by the Regional Studies Association in London: “acknowledging and celebrating excellence in the field of regional studies”. Professor Yeung has published 7 monographs and 1 textbook (3 editions), 7 edited books, 110 journal articles, and 50 book chapters. His most recent books are Theory and Explanation in Geography (RGS-IBG Book Series, Wiley, September 2023),  Interconnected Worlds: Global Electronics and Production Networks in East Asia (Innovation and Technology in the World Economy Series, Stanford University Press, June 2022), Strategic Coupling: East Asian Industrial Transformation in the New Global Economy (Cornell Studies in Political Economy Series, Cornell University Press, 2016), and Global Production Networks: Theorizing Economic Development in an Interconnected World (with Neil Coe, Oxford University Press, 2015). 

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies, Burkle Center for International Relations, Department of Geography