International Business Research Group
The long-established International Business Research Group (IBRG) has interests across a wide spectrum of contemporary policy issues, including international trade, foreign investment and finance, and it has also produced a number of country-specific studies.
Members of the group are actively engaged in editing journals and conference proceedings, organising international conferences and in collaborative research with colleagues in overseas universities (including India and Austria). The group's members have served as advisors and consultants to national and international agencies such as the DTI, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the World Bank, the UN and the ILO.
Main research themes
There are several interrelated themes within the group. Policy-orientated work on the determinants and impact of foreign direct investment in developing countries, principally India and China, has attracted the attention of analysts in the WTO, the OECD and the UNCTAD. V N Balasubramanyam's work on FDI has been extended to an analysis of FDI and the Diaspora. New insights on globalisation and regionalism have come from his work on India's rapidly emerging software sector in areas such as Bangalore. This and other research on FDI has been supported by grants from DFID of the UK and the British Academy. This emphasis on the world's largest emerging economies (India and China) is complemented by Robert Read's research (supported by the ODA, for instance) on the economic viability of small states.
International finance and trade is another important theme within the group. This includes Nicholas Snowden's work on the debt problem and his analysis of risk management assessment in the context of the East Asian financial crisis, and John Whittaker's theoretical work on optimal institutional arrangements for central banks, alternative monetary regimes, and the European single currency.
Potential PhD topics
An integral part of the group's work consists of doctoral student research, and the group's work is enriched by the active participation of doctoral students in its fortnightly workshops.The subjects of recently completed doctoral theses include exports and economic development in China, the impact of economic reforms on India's manufacturing sector, Greece and the European Union, and corporate finance and investment under the single European currency.
The group would particularly welcome applications from well-qualified candidates interested in pursuing PhD study in any of the following areas:
- Foreign direct investment
- Local linkage effects of foreign investment in developing countries
- Investigating the growth of small states
- Industrial location and adjustment to policy reform in India
- The implications of alternative objectives of independent central banks
- The Chinese economy
- Theoretical explanations for the pattern of trade between China, India and the US
- The WTO and the political economy of regulating international trade
- The development of management practice in OECD countries, 1960-2000
- Current economic policy issues within the European Union (micro and macro)
- Political economy, economic geography, and international trade