About Us

David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies (LEWI)

Prof. Si-ming Li obtained his B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Alberta and Queen’s University, Canada, respectively, all in the field of Geography.

Previously, Prof. Li served as Director of the Centre for China Urban and Regional Studies (2001-2011), Interim Dean of Social Sciences (February-July 2010), Head of the Department of Geography Department (June 1997 – August 2003), and Course Leader of China Studies (January 1991 – August 1994). In Academic Year 1994-95 he spent his sabbatical leave as Visiting Professor at the Department of Geography of National Taiwan University, where he helped organize probably the first major conference on China’s regional development in Taiwan. An edited volume based on this conference was published jointly by LEWI and the Population Research Center of the National Taiwan University. This book has remained a required reading for courses on the topic in many universities in Taiwan.

His current research focuses on housing and residential change in urban China and on housing and urban development in Hong Kong, which has been supported by 9 General Research Fund (GRF) awards from the Hong Kong Research Grant Council, 2 Public Policy Research (PPR) grants from the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong SAR Government, and grants awarded by the Urban China Research Network based at the State University of New York at Albany and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy of Cambridge, Massachusetts. His publications include 19 authored/edited books and journal special issues and some 140 journal articles, book chapters and book reviews on different aspects of urban and regional development in Hong Kong and mainland China. Recent edited volumes/journal special issues include: Special Issue: Migration, mobility, and community change in Chinese cities. Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 55, No. 4 (2015), co-edited with Kam Wing Chan and Shenjing He; Housing Inequalities in Chinese Cities, co-edited by Youqin Huang and Si-ming Li (2014); Special Issue: Living in Chinese Enclave Cities. Urban Geography, Vol. 33, No. 2 (2012), co-edited with Ronald van Kempen & Bart Wissink; A New Geography of Hong Kong, Vols. I and II, co-edited with Chi-Yung Jim and Tung Fung (2010). He serves on the editorial board of Housing Studies, Urban Geography, China Review, Asian Geographer and Journal of Geographical Science. He also served in the 1999, 2006 and 2014 Social Science Panel of the Research Assessment Exercise conducted by the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong.

Mission and Objectives

David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies has two missions:

1. to promote mutual understanding between East and West through research, academic exchange, and other scholarly activities; and
2. to promote inter-disciplinary research in social sciences and humanities from both the perspectives of the East and West.

Over the years, the Institute has made strenuous efforts in performing and reconciling its dual roles as an international consortium of universities and a university-wide research unit. The institute currently focuses on three interrelated research themes (see below), positioning the Institute as an international hub in social science and humanities research. In spring 2011 the University extended a major grant under the Strategic Development Fund scheme to substantially strengthen the Institute’s research infrastructure and enable the Institute to recruit a number of full-time research staff.

Research Themes

The Institute organizes its research around three working groups, namely, urbanization and mobility working group, cross-cultural studies working group, as well as environment, health and sustainability working group. Each working group comprises a senior faculty member as convenor and group members appointed by the Director. Group members, full-time research staff of the Institute, and collaborative researchers among consortium members conduct research in the following research agenda:

Urbanization and Mobility Working Group
(Convenor – Prof. Si-ming Li, Director and Chair Professor of Geography, HKBU)
► Comparative Urbanization under Globalization
► Migrancy and Globalism
Cross-Cultural Studies Working Group
(Convenor – Prof. Cindy Yik-yi Chu, Professor of History, HKBU)
► Foreign Communities in Hong Kong, 1841 to the Present
► Human Trafficking in Asia
► History of Christianity in China
► Chinese-Foreign Relations since the 19th century
► History of the Catholic Church in China
Environment, Health and Sustainability Working Group
(Convenor – Prof. Kara Chan, Associate Director and Professor of Communication Studies, HKBU)
► Public perception of accupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
► Public attitudes toward advertising by medical professionals
► Social inclusion among people with mental health problems
► Health rights and health equality
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