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Foreign market exits and relocation in an era of geo-political tensions (RDF23/EIS/ARTE)

   Faculty of Business and Law

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  Dr Pratik Arte, Dr Roseline Wanjiru  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project investigates the impact of ongoing geo-political tensions between countries on the exit and relocation decisions of foreign direct investment (FDI). The key research questions of the project are: (1) How and to what extent do geo-political tensions between countries affect the exit and relocation decisions of international firms; (2) How do exit and relocation decisions unfold under environmental uncertainty; (3) Do exits and relocations create value for the firm and society?

The project focuses on investigating FDI behaviour amidst geo-political tensions. Some avenues that the project may explore include: (1) pre- and post-Brexit FDI scenario in the U.K.; (2) U.S.-China trade war and its impact on bilateral FDI between the U.S. and China; or (3) effect of NATO expansion on FDI in Europe. These tensions have had a significant impact on the regional and global economies, which has led several firms to exit foreign markets or relocate despite having profitable business in the affected countries (Dhingra et al., 2016; Ikatura, 2020).

Theoretically, the framework could draw upon the institution-based view, political economy, or corporate governance. The supervision team is particularly interested in investigating the links between different factors that motivate firms to exit or relocate; their impact on the various stakeholders including shareholders, employees, creditors, suppliers, and the local government; and how exits and relocations create or destroy value for the firm and society (Arte & Larimo, 2019).

The methodology can be flexible to include qualitative, quantitative, or mixed method approaches. A particular method that could be effective is an investigative case-study to explore the antecendents and outcomes of foreign exits and relocations. Later, a survey could be drafted by using the findings of the case-study to collect data from multiple firms. The supervision team has access to international networks to initiate joint research workshops and short-term exchange programme.

Academic Enquiries

This project is supervised by Dr Pratik Arte and Dr Roseline Wanjiru. For informal queries, please contact [Email Address Removed]; [Email Address Removed]. For all other enquiries relating to eligibility or application process please use the email form below to contact Admissions. 

Funding Information

Home and International students (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. The studentship is available to Home and International (including EU) students and includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2022/23 full-time study this is £17,668 per year) and full tuition fees. Studentships are also available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis over 5 years (0.6 FTE, stipend £10,600 per year and full tuition fees) in combination with work or personal responsibilities). 

Please also see further advice below of additional costs that may apply to international applicants.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if they are already a PhD holder or if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

Please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student. Applicants will need to be in the UK and fully enrolled before stipend payments can commence, and be aware of the following additional costs that may be incurred, as these are not covered by the studentship.

  • Immigration Health Surcharge
  • If you need to apply for a Student Visa to enter the UK, please refer to the information on It is important that you read this information very carefully as it is your responsibility to ensure that you hold the correct funds required for your visa application otherwise your visa may be refused.
  • Check what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England
  • Costs associated with English Language requirements which may be required for students not having completed a first degree in English, will not be borne by the university. Please see individual adverts for further details of the English Language requirements for the university you are applying to.

How to Apply

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see  

For applications to be considered for interview, please include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words and the advert reference (e.g. RDF23/…).

Deadline for applications: 27 January 2023

Start date of course: 1 October 2023 tbc

Northumbria University is committed to creating an inclusive culture where we take pride in, and value, the diversity of our doctoral students. We encourage and welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds a bronze Athena Swan award in recognition of our commitment to advancing gender equality, we are a Disability Confident Employer, a member of the Race Equality Charter and are participating in the Stonewall Diversity Champion Programme. We also hold the HR Excellence in Research award for implementing the concordat supporting the career Development of Researchers.


Arte, P., & Larimo, J. (2019). Taking stock of foreign divestment: Insights and recommendations from three decades of contemporary literature. International Business Review, 28(6), 101599.
Dhingra, S., Ottaviano, G., Sampson, T., & Van Reenen, J. (2016). The impact of Brexit on foreign investment in the UK. BREXIT 2016, 24(2), 1-10.
Gonchar, K., & Greve, M. (2022). The impact of political risk on FDI exit decisions. Economic Systems, 46(2), 100975.
Itakura, K. (2020). Evaluating the impact of the US–China trade war. Asian Economic Policy Review, 15(1), 77-93.
McGrattan, E. R., & Waddle, A. (2020). The impact of Brexit on foreign investment and production. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 12(1), 76-103.
Mihaela, S. (2018). The impact of Brexit on the UK inwards FDI. Economics, management and sustainability, 3(1), 6-20.
Sousa, C. M., & Tan, Q. (2015). Exit from a foreign market: Do poor performance, strategic fit, cultural distance, and international experience matter?. Journal of International Marketing, 23(4), 84-104.
Zeng, K., Wells, R., Wilkins, A., & Gu, J. (2022). Bilateral Tensions, the Trade War, and US–China Trade Relations. Business and Politics, 1-31.

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