Vera Trappmann Dr., M.A., Dipl.Soz.

Associate Professor of Work and Employment Relations

I joined the Faculty in 2015. Prior to this, I was a Junior Professor of Macrosociology and Comparative European Societies at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, a Senior Lecturer at Osnabrück University, a Senior Researcher at Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and a Researcher at Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund. I completed my PhD in 2009 at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder).

My research engages with the comparison of labour relations across Europe. My main interests focus on the dynamics of organisational restructuring and its impact on working biographies, trade union strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility, and more recently on sustainability and degrowth. My work is often comparative in nature and has been funded by the European Commission, the German Research Foundation, Hans-Boeckler Foundation, Otto-Brenner Foundation, Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, German Academic Exchange Service, the German Ministry of Research and Education, Federal states and trade unions.

I recently co-led a prestigious DFG funded project on business elites and the varieties of capitalism in Central Eastern Europe. The study involved partners in three European countries, during 2008-2013. Research from the project was published in a book published by Routledge under the title ‘Business Leaders and New Varieties of Capitalism in Post-Communist Europe’ edited by myself, Katharina Bluhm, and Bernd Martens.

Other recently completed studies include the portray of the steel industry in Poland (funded by the German Ministry of Science and Education), published with Palgrave under the title ‘Fallen Heroes in Global Capitalism. Workers and the Restructuring of the Polish Steel Industry’, and an examination of social dumping and organizing in the IT industry (funded by IG Metall). Recent policy reports include a study on trade unions in Poland for the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation.

I have published one monograph, 2 edited volumes, over 35 journal articles and book chapters, over 16 reports, and presented papers at conferences and workshops in over 15 countries.

I am currently on the international advisory board of Work, Employment and Society and an editorial board member of emecon, Warsaw Forum of Economic Sociology and Social Europe. I am also a member of the Central European Labour Studies Institute, Bratislava and the Polish-German Network of Progressive Politics. I have spent periods as a visiting researcher in the Poland (Jagiellonen University Cracow and Academy of Sciences, Warsaw), and France (Business School Toulouse).

Current Funded Projects 
From 2016 onwards, I will lead a project on young precarious workers in Poland and Germany, comparing working and living conditions, social consciousness and civic engagement. The project is conducted in collaboration with Professor Gardawski (Warsaw School of Economics), Dr. Jan Czarszasty (Warsaw School of Economics), Dr. Adam Mrozowicki (Wroclaw University) and will last for 3 years.

PhD supervision

I am experienced in doctoral supervision with one student successfully completing in 2014. I am currently supervising 2 PhD students. I am interested in supervising projects related to:&nb

  • Globalisation, restructuring and employment relations outcomes
  • Comparative studies of workplace restructuring and its impact on workers’ lives
  • Comparative studies of labour relations 
  • Trade unions’ strategy for renewal, in particular for greening the economy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Sustainability and climate change

A particular interest of mine lies with Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, the steel and the electronic sector. If you are interested in doctoral study in any of these areas please contact me.


Location: 1.13, 18-26 Lyddon Terrace