Sabine is a Senior Research Fellow at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Luxembourg, and an Honorary Research Associate of the School of Geography and the Environment (Oxford). She is currently a GSO Leadership Fellow and recently (2013-2015) held a Marie Curie Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford. Sabine is a board member of the newly founded FINGEO Network, the Global Network on Financial Geography, where she is also deputy editor for the network's working paper series.
Sabine graduated from the Dresden University of Technology (Germany) and completed her doctorate (Economic Geography) at the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main (Germany). Her thesis 'Governance Forms of Global Value Chains in Tourism' was awarded the best PhD thesis by the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO) in 2009.
From 2004 to 2010 she was a lecturer at the Department of Human Geography at the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main. She has also taught at the Universities of Bonn (D), Groningen (NL), Luxembourg (Lux) and Osnabruck (D). In 2010, Sabine took up the post of Research Fellow at the Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies (CEPS/INSTEAD) in Luxembourg. In 2013, she moved to Oxford where, alongside her full-time fellowship, she was a visiting fellow at both the Universiteit van Amsterdam and the National University of Singapore in 2014.
Sabine's academic work has been funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Luxembourgish Research Foundation (FNR), ESPON, the European Commission (EC), and the Regional Studies Association (RSA), among other.
Outside academia, Sabine has worked as a consultant and academic expert for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), and for the Directorate General of Enterprise and Industry, EC.
Sabine's research interests include the changing global production and trade relations, primarily in financial and other services industries, the functional and institutional integration processes of European border regions, and the dynamics of urban, financial and real estate development. Her research combines insights from economic geography, economics, political economy, and sociology.
Sabine is interested in developing alternative ways of analysing the global financial system, particularly the relational nature of complex local production systems of finance in the world's leading financial centres. Related to this, she is interested in how these financial centres create economic resilience in the face of market discontinuities and political ruptures, and how shifts toward 'green finance' and technological immersion affect financial activities and institutions. Sabine is a curious observer and critical commentator on the political economies of the world's leading financial centres.
Recent and current research projects include:
Securities markets, international financial centres, and regional resilience. A comparative analysis of Luxembourg and Singapore as strategic nodes in investment funds' global production networks (LUSIFUNDS) (European Commission), 2013-2015
Financial capital has outweighed the importance of industrial capital, yet, the creation of financial capital follows key organisational patterns of industrial production. In the wake of the global financial crisis, governments and policymakers have been aiming at building stronger regional economies, which also applies to financial centres, the power houses of financial production.
This project explored the potential of a more holistic approach that grasp finance as a global production system. The framework of the Global Production Network (GPN) combines financial activities on several spatial scales and offers an analytical instrument to better comprehend the complexities of global finance. Building on the example of the asset management industry, this project defined the causalities of financial flows between IFCs as well as to reflect the impacts of inter-firm and firm-regulatory relationships that influence and direct these flows. As a result, the examples of the two financial hubs Luxembourg and Singapore show how their highly specialized regional assets in finance not only influence financial production in other IFCs but also how their own specialization could potentially further bolster their regional financial economies within a more sustainable understanding.
LUSIFUNDS project website
The role of the state in building sustainable financial centres: comparing London, Luxembourg and Singapore (RSA Research Grant, Regional Studies Association Membership Research Grant Scheme), 2015-2017
This research investigates the role of the state in the process of enforcing institutions strategically designed to build the financial centre of the future. The three case studies London, Luxembourg and Singapore exemplify successful financial hubs, yet, each hub possesses highly distinct characteristics and specialisations that give them the necessary competitive edge. The varying roles of the state as a key actor in shaping the conditions for regional financial economies are investigated against the background of the perceived trade-off between promoting the (a certain kind of) financial industry to secure regional income, and enforcing tight rules to protect consumers while fearing to lose financial gains to global competitors.
More info | Project website
Stabilising an unstable industry: The role of agency in interconnecting international financial centres (FINWEBS) (Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) & Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), with Ben Derudder), 2017-2021
The growth of the financial and business services sector has unmistakeably been one of the key economic trends of the last thirty years. This growing market has unleashed a race among cities for the status of 'international financial centre' (IFC), which can be understood as an urban concentrations of firms in the financial services sector engaged in cross-border business. The objective of this research project is to better comprehend the dynamic/stability duality of the system of IFCs through an analysis of several 'transnational social layers': networks of financial centres, networks of financial firms and their products, and networks of leading financial professionals. By adding an agency perspective to the presently-dominant ranking interpretations of how IFCs come into being and jockey for position within global financial business flows, we help moving our understanding of stability and dynamics among IFCs beyond broad-sweeping narratives of path dependence and crisis. More specifically, we will explore how a set of crucial agents helps shaping new spatial and organisational manifestations in governing (global) finance from and through specific cities.
Project website will follow soon.