Karen Shire


– not available as an advisor for new IMPRS doctoral students in 2024 –

Karen  Shire

Karen Shire

Professor of Comparative Sociology and Japanese Society at the University of Duisburg-Essen

Karen Shire holds the Chair for Comparative Sociology and Japanese Society at the University of Duisburg-Essen, where she is also a member of the Institute of East Asian Studies and directs the Essen College for Gender Research. Her research is broadly focused on the comparative-historical study of work and organizational changes, how these shape transformations of employment and labor relations, as well as their consequences for social inequalities. Her recent research examines the emergence of cross-border labor markets in Europe and the Asia Pacific in inter-regional comparison.
Shire's other research interests include the employment dynamics of welfare markets, gender regimes in historical and comparative perspectives, and the political economy of human trafficking.
Research Fields:

  • Comparative/historical social institutionalism
  • Labor markets, employment and labor relations
  • The social origins of gender-based inequalities
  • Transnational labor regulation
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