Professor of Comparative Sociology and Japanese Society

My research interest is the comparative/historical study of work, organizations and social institutional change in Europe and Asia. I am especially interested in how markets are displacing public, collective, private firm-internal and/or familial governance of social risks. Recently my research has focused on the making of labor markets for temporary and contract labor, and on new markets for care services. A central concern of my work is the integration of a gender dimension into comparative institutional studies of social change. With my research team at the Institutes of Sociology and East Asian Studies in Duisburg I am currently investigating the development of transnational labor markets, with a focus on the role of intermediaries and recruitment firms in creating markets for cross-border labor, spanning technical, domestic, forced and trafficked labor. In collaboration with researchers in the GLOW network (Globalisation, Gender and the Reorganization of Work) I am continuing research on the intersection of gender and class inequalities in the Knowledge Economy, and comparisons of gender regimes in Germany and Japan.

From October 2016 I joined the Institute of Global Leadership and collaborate with the Institute of Gender Studies at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, Japan as Specially Appointed Professor. My research in Tokyo will focus on the promotion of women in economic leadership, with a focus on how gender quotas change (or fail to change) elite recruitment and selection. My second concern will be to study socially responsible leadership by women, continuing recent work on human trafficking, domestic labor, prostitution and other areas of the economic organization of production and reproduction, which are widening inequalities between women. I am scheduled to return to Duisburg in October 2018.

Currently Funded Research Projects and Collaborations

DFG SH/82/5-1 Cross-Border Temporary Staffing. Market-Making and Transnational Regulation in Inter-Regional Comparison,


SOEP Innovation Survey 2015 Module on Household Use of Personal and Household Services (with Prof. Rainer Schnell UDE)


JSPS Grants-in-Aid Collaboration with Principle Investigator Mari Osawa, University of Tokyo, Gendering the resilience to disasters and crises—Japan and Germany in comparison


HWK (Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg) Study Group Convened by Clemence Ledoux The Politics of Fiscal Welfare Markets


ZiF Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University, In Search of Global Labor Markets Resident Collaboration with Principle Investigators Ursula Mense-Petermann (Sociology), Thomas Welskopp (History) and Anna Zaharieva (Economics)




Doctoral Training Programs


DFG Research Training Group 1613 Risk and East Asia


BMBF In-East School of Advanced Studies


MERCUR AREA Ruhr Graduiertenkolleg Transnational Institution-Building and Transnational Communities in East Asia




Completed Research Projects


European Commission HOME/2014/ISFP/THBX/PR/0052 Study on comprehensive policy review of anti-trafficking projects (Sub-contracted Collaboration, Principle Investigator Sylvia Walby, University of Lancaster)


European Commission HOME/2013/ISEC/PR/041-A2 Gender Dimensions of Human Trafficking, (Sub-contracted Collaboration, Principle Investigator Sylvia Walby, University of Lancaster)


BMBF Flexmedia: Integrierte Steuerungsinstrumente zur Steigerung der Innovationsfähigkeit von Unternehmen der Verlags- und Medienwirtschaft


BMBF WiMi Care: Wissenstransfers für eine aktive Mitgestaltung des Pflegesektors durch Mikrosystemtechnik


NRW Ministerium für Innovation, Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie: Gender and the New Economy


Hans-Boeckler Stiftung Global Call Center Project

BMBF Virtuelle Arbeiten und Lernen in Projektartigen Netzwerken


DFG SH 82 1-2/SH82-3 Employment Diversification in Japan: The Case of Temporary Agency Work


BMBF Die Gestaltung von Wissensschleifen zwischen Kundenorientierung und Innovation


Matsushita International Foundation Information- and Knowledge-Intensive Services in Japan