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Dr Martin Sokol

Tel: + 353 1 896 2355
Postal Address:
Department of Geography
Museum Building
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2


PhD – Newcastle University, UK
MA (D.E.S.S.) – Université Pierre Mendès France, Grenoble, France

Research interests

Economic geography; Urban and regional development; Geographies of knowledge economies; Post-socialist transformations; Geographies of finance; Financialisation.

For more information visit Geographies of Finance.


Martin Sokol is an economic geographer whose primary research interests revolve around social and spatial inequalities in the context of the ‘New Europe’. One of the key areas of his expertise concern the fundamental processes shaping economic geographies of contemporary Europe – the rise of the so-called ‘knowledge-based economy’ in the ‘West’ and the collapse of ‘state-socialism’ in the ‘East’ - and the implications of these two processes for cities and regions in Western and East-Central Europe. More recently, Martin has developed his research agenda to include the issues of finance and financialisation, and their implications for social and spatial inequality.

Martin completed a PhD thesis at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. His doctoral research engaged with the ‘knowledge economy’ and the ‘learning region’ concepts while focusing on ‘institutional thickness’ in the UK (Scotland) and East-Central Europe (Slovakia). Since then, he was involved in several major research projects, while holding research and teaching posts at University College Dublin (UCD), Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) and University College London (UCL), among others. Martin joined Trinity College Dublin in 2013 and leads the Finance, Economy & Society (FES) Research Group. Dr Sokol is a founding member and Secretary of the Global Network on Financial Geography (FinGeo) and Fellow of the Regional Studies Association (FeRSA). He was recently awarded a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for his project GEOFIN - Western Banks in Eastern Europe: New Geographies of Financialisation.

Selected research projects

GEOFIN - Western Banks in Eastern Europe: New Geographies of Financialisation - ongoing European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant Project (2016-2021) examining the ways in which Western banks penetrated Eastern Europe following the collapse of communism. East-Central Europe is being used as a laboratory to understand how finance entered every nook and cranny of post-communist economies that were previously built on completely opposite principles.

POLYNET – Sustainable Management of European Polycentric Mega-City Regions (EU Interreg IIIB project led by Professor Sir Peter Hall on the geography of knowledge-intensive financial and business services in the context of globalising mega-city regions.

TRANSFORM – Benchmarking and Fostering Transformative Use of ICT in EU Regions (FP6 project on ‘regional cultures’ and regional institutional capacities and their role in fostering transformational impacts of ICT on the economy and society in Europe).

Research funding

European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant (1.8m EUR); European Commission / FP6; European Commission / Phare ACE Programme; The Foreign and Commonwealth Office / Chevening Scholarship; Regional Studies Association (RSA).

Membership of professional organisations and academic networks

Postgraduate research opportunities

I particularly welcome PhD research proposals within the following broad research themes (and their combinations):

  • Economic geography and uneven development
  • Globalisation and city-regions
  • Regional development in Europe
  • Post-socialist transformations in Central and Eastern Europe and China
  • Geographies of finance and banking
  • Financial inclusion and exclusion
  • Financialisation

Selected publications

Sokol, M. (2017) Financialisation, financial chains and uneven geographical development in Europe: Towards a research agenda. Research in International Business and Finance (RIBAF), Vol. 39, Part B, pp. 678-685. Invited contribution. DOI:

Sokol, M. (2013), ‘Towards a “newer” economic geography? Injecting finance and financialization into economic geographies’. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 501–515. Invited contribution. DOI:10.1093/cjres/rst022.

Sokol, M. (2013) Silicon Valley in Eastern Slovakia? Neo-liberalism, post-socialism and the knowledge economyEurope-Asia Studies, Vol. 65, No. 7, pp. 1324-1343 (ISSN Print 0966-8136). Invited contribution. DOI:10.1080/09668136.2013.822714.

Sokol, M., (2011) Economic Geographies of Globalisation: A Short Introduction, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 198 pages. (cased: ISBN 978-1-84980-149-2; paperback: ISBN 978-1-84980-153-9).

Sokol, M. (2010) 'Financial Crisis in Central and Eastern Europe: From Similarity to Diversity' (book review), Regional Studies, 44:9, 1304 - 1305.

Sokol, M. (2010), ‘Silicon Valley in Eastern Slovakia? The Case of Kosice IT Valley’, Paper for the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Washington DC, USA, 14-18 April.

Sokol, M. and Rochovská, A. (2010), ‘Post-socialism in crisis: forgotten geographies of finance?’ Paper for the RSA Annual International Conference (Co-ordinated sessionAfter the Global Financial Crisis: Cities, Regions, and Sectors in East-Central Europe and the former USSR’), Pécs, Hungary, 24th-26th May.

Egeraat, C. van and Sokol, M. (2010), Dublin as a Polycentric City Region? In: ÓBroin, D. and Jacobson, D. (eds.), Local Dublin, Global Dublin: Public Policy in an Evolving City Region, Dublin: DCU Press. pp.147-179. Invited contribution.

Sokol, M., (2009) Economic Geography, Subject guide 164, University of London External Programme, London: University of London Press.

Sokol M. (2009), Regional Connectivity. In: Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. (eds) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Volume 9, pp. 165-180. Oxford: Elsevier. Invited contribution.

Sokol, M., Egeraat, C. van, and Williams, B. (2008) ‘Revisiting the “Informational City”: space of flows, knowledge intensive business services and polycentricity in an emerging global city-region of Dublin’. Regional Studies, Vol. 42, No. 8, pp. 1133-1146. (ISSN Print 0034-3404).

Hoyler, M., Kloosterman, R. and Sokol, M. (2008) ‘Polycentric puzzles: Emerging mega-city regions seen through the lens of advanced producer services’. Regional Studies, Vol. 42, No. 8, pp. 1055–1064. (ISSN Print 0034-3404).

Rochovská, A., Blažek, M., and Sokol, M. (2007) Ako zlepšiť kvalitu geografie: o dôležitosti kvalitatívneho výskumu v humánnej geografii (Adding quality to geography: on the importance of qualitative research in human geography). Geografický časopis (Geographical Journal), Vol. 59, No. 4, pp. 323-358.

Sokol, M. (2007) ‘Space of flows, uneven regional development and the geography of financial services in Ireland’. Growth and Change, Vol. 38, No. 2, June 2007, pp.224-259. (Special Issue on European Financial Geographies). (ISSN Print 0017-4815; ISSN Online 1468-2257). Invited submission.

Rehák, S. and Sokol, M. (2007), Regional pathways towards the knowledge economy: experiences from Slovakia. In: K. Piech (Ed.) Knowledge and Innovation Processes in Central and Eastern European Economies. Warsaw: The Knowledge & Innovation Institute. pp.228-246. (ISBN-13: 978-83-60653-03-6).

Sokol, M., Wills, J., Anderson, J., Buckley, M., Evans, Y., Frew, C. and Hamilton, P. (2006) The impact of improved pay and conditions on low-paid urban workers: the case of the Royal London Hospital. London: Queen Mary, University of London, Department of Geography (ISBN 0-902238-25-6).

Convery, F., McInerney, D., Sokol, M. and Stafford, P. (2006) ‘Organising space in a dynamic economy – insights for policy from the Irish experience’. Built Environment, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp.172-182. (ISSN 0263-7960).

Sokol, M. (2006), City-regions in the global knowledge economy. In: Yarwood, J. (Ed.) The Dublin-Belfast Development Corridor: Ireland’s Mega-City Region?Aldershot: Ashgate, pp.15-27. (ISBN 0 7546 4702 1). Invited contribution.

Egeraat, C. van and Sokol, M. (2006), Service Firm Connections in the Dublin-Belfast Corridor. In: Yarwood, J. (Ed.) The Dublin-Belfast Development Corridor: Ireland’s Mega-City Region?Aldershot: Ashgate, pp.141-162. (ISBN 0 7546 4702 1).

Egeraat, C. van, Sokol, M. and Stafford, P. (2006), ‘Greater Dublin in the Celtic Tiger Economy: Towards a Polycentric Mega-City Region?’ In: Hall, P. and Pain, K. (eds), The Polycentric Metropolis: Learning from Mega-City Regions in Europe, London: Earthscan, pp.187-194. (ISBN-13: 978-1-84407-329-0; ISBN-10: 1-84407-329-7).

Sokol, M. (2004), ‘The “Knowledge Economy”: A Critical View’. In: P. Cooke and A. Piccaluga (Eds.) Regional Economies as Knowledge Laboratories. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp.216-231. (ISBN 1 84376 821 6). Invited contribution.

Sokol, M. (2002) Knowledge economy: issues and challenges, Journal of Economics/Ekonomicky casopis, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp.85-106 (in Slovak, English résumé). (ISSN 0013-3035).

Sokol, M. (2001) Post-industrial economic transformation: implications for urban and regional systems, Architecture&Urbanism/Architektura&Urbanizmus, Vol. 35, No.1-2, pp.15-26 (in Slovak, English resumé). (ISSN 0044-8680).

Sokol, M. (2001) Central and Eastern Europe a Decade After the Fall of State-socialism: Regional Dimensions of Transition Processes, Regional Studies, Vol. 35, No. 7, pp.645-655. (ISSN Print 0034-3404).

Sokol, M. and Tomaney, J. (2001), ‘Regionalising the Knowledge Economy: What’s the Point?’ In: Maconochie A. and Hardy S. (Eds.) Regionalising the Knowledge Economy, Conference Proceedings of the Annual Conference November 2001, Seaford: RSA, pp.108-110. (ISBN 1 897721 18 8).

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