Tom Narins

Tom Narins

Associate Professor and Program Director - Urban Studies and Planning BA
Department of Geography & Planning
Department of Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies
Department of East Asian Studies
Department of Africana, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies


Arts & Sciences 218

PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

MBA, University of Arizona

BA, Cornell University

Tom Narins

Tom Narins is an Associate Professor of Geography and Planning with research interests in the critical geopolitics of China's growing engagement with the global economy. As a political and economic geographer with language skills, Tom has published on sovereignty issues relating to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as well as on official Chinese lending to BRI-participant countries after the coronavirus.

His current research interests focus on the geographical contours of the Digital Silk Road. His work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as: Geopolitics; Human Geography; Territory, Politics, Governance; The Professional Geographer; Area; and The Extractive Industries and Society.

He received his BA in Government from Cornell University, MBA from the University of Arizona, and PhD in Geography from UCLA.



Ho, C.Y; Narins, T.P.; Sung, Won. 2023. “Developing Information and Communication Technology with the Belt and Road Initiative and the Digital Silk Road” Telecommunications Policy 47.

Narins, T.P., Agnew, J. 2022. Veiled futures? Debt burdens, the Belt Road Initiative, and Official Chinese lending after Coronavirus. Human Geography, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp. 190–205. doi:

Narins, T.P. 2020. The lure of Chinese State Capitalism in Latin America and the Caribbean
 Territory, Politics, Governance. doi: 10.1080/21622671.2020.1719192

Narins, T.P., Agnew, J. 2019. Missing from the Map: Chinese Exceptionalism, Sovereignty Regimes and the Belt Road Initiative. Geopolitics. doi: 10.1080/14650045.2019.1601082

Klinger, J. M., Narins, T.P. 2018. New Geographies of China and Latin America Relations: Introduction to the Special Issue. Journal of Latin American Geography, 17(2), pp. 6-22. July 2018. University of Texas Press. doi: 10.1353/lag.2018.020

Fuller, T.L., Narins, T.P., Nackoney, J., Bonebrake, T., Sesink, P., Morgan, K., Trochez, A., Bocuma Meñe, D., Bongwele, E., Njabo, K., Anthony, N., Gonder, M.K., Kahn, M., Allen, W., Smith, T. 2018. Assessing the impact of China’s timber industry on Congo Basin land use change, Area, 00:1–10. doi: 10.1111/area.12469

Narins, T.P. 2018. Chinese trade engagement in Latin America compared to the European Union and the United States: The case of technology-intensive exports, The Professional Geographer, Volume 70, Issue 2, May 2018, Pages 219-229. doi: 10.1080/00330124.2017.1347797

Narins, T.P. 2017. The Battery Business: Lithium Availability and the Growth of the
Global Electric Car Industry, The Extractive Industries and Society. Vol. 4, Issue 2. doi:

Narins, T.P. 2016a. Evaluating Chinese Economic Engagement in Africa versus Latin America, Geography Compass. 10/7 (2016): 283–292, doi: 10.1111/gec3.12270

Narins, T.P. 2016b. Are Chinese Economic Actors Poised to Dominate Latin American Economies?: A view from Bolivia and Chile, Global Studies Journal. Vol. 9, Issue 4.

Narins, T.P. 2015. Dynamics of the Russia-China Forest Products Trade, Growth and Change. Vol. 46, No. 4, (December 2015), pp. 688-703. doi: 10.1111/grow.12108

Muellerleile, C., Strauss, K., Spigel, B. and Narins, T.P. 2014. Economic Geography and the Financial Crisis: Full Steam Ahead? The Professional Geographer, February 2014, Vol. 66, No. 1, pp. 11-17. doi: 10.1080/00330124.2012.757819

Narins, T.P. 2013. Ecuadorian State-Capacity Building through Territorial Strategic Asset Management, Journal of Latin American Geography, March 2013, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp. 33-59.

Narins, T.P. 2012. China’s Eye on Ecuador – What Chinese trade with Ecuador reveals about China’s economic expansion into South America, Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp. 295-308.