Karen Shire
G: Labor Markets, Education, and Human Resources

Karen Shire holds the Chair in Comparative Sociology and Japanese Society at the University Duisburg-Essen, Germany where she is also a member of the Institute of East Asian Studies and directs the Essener College for Gender Research. She is a member of the faculty of the International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Construction of the Economy, and in the past few years has held guest appointments in the research group In Search of Global Labor Markets, at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Bielefeld University, at the Institute for Global Leadership, Ochanomizu Women’s University in Tokyo, and at the Violence and Society Centre, City, University of London. Currently she is Vice-President of RC02 Economy & Society in the International Sociological Association. Her research has contributed to developing inter-regional and historical comparisons of the transformation of work and employment, social institutional changes in the nexus between work and welfare, and changes in class and gender-based social inequalities in Europe and East Asia. Recently her interest has turned to studying the transnationalization of labor markets in the context of migration and global production networks. This research has received funding from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft(DFG) and the European Commission Anti-Trafficking Coordinator. 

A selection of Shire’s latest publications include Transnationalisierung der Arbeit (2018, co-edited with Sigrid Quack, Ingo Schulz-Schaeffer and Anja Weiß, VS Springer), Labour Subcontracting in Cross-Border Labour Markets (2019, with Ines Wagner, in N. Lillie and J. Arnholz Posted Work in the European Union, Routledge), The Social Order of Transnational Migration Markets (2020, in Global Networks) and the forthcoming volume The Dynamics of Welfare Markets: Private Pensions and Domestic/Care Services in Europe (co-edited with Clémence Ledoux and Franca van Hooren, Palgrave). She is a corresponding editor of the International Review of Social History, a member of the editorial boards of Work, Employment and Society, the European Journal of East Asian Studies, and Contemporary Japan, and a member of the Jury for the International Research Prize of Max Weber Foundation.

Shire began presenting her work and organizing panels at SASE Meetings in the 1990s. At the annual meetings in Kyoto she organized the Mini-Conference, The Making of Transnational Labor Markets: Reordering of Actors, Institutions, and Policies? (with Ursula Mense- Petermann), she has served as a reviewer for the SASE Early Career Workshop, and is a rank-and-file member of the SASE Gender Forum. Together with David Marsden, she coordinates the SASE Network G: Labor Markets, Education and Human Resources.

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