Sarah Schilliger


Sarah Schilliger is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department for Social Sciences at the University of Basel. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Basel and a Master in Political Science from the University of Zurich.

Sarah has a strong and longstanding interest in the intersection between transnational mobility, globalized labour markets and social rights of migrants. In her PhD she did research on care migration and global care chains between Eastern Europe and Switzerland, which gained a lot of public and academic attention. In this multi-sited ethnography she analysed the role of transnational care agencies in the fast-growing market for care services and explored the working conditions and the transnational life of female Polish care workers. Beyond that, from 2010 to 2012, she was the principal investigator in a research project examining undocumented labour in domestic work in Switzerland.

In her post-doc research Sarah addresses the im-/possibilities of claiming rights in the context of transnational migration and precarious labour. In doing so she brings three major themes into a dialogue: a) the forms of citizenship that have emerged in the context of changing migration regimes, the stratification of social rights that accompanies this transformation, and the expansion of precarious and exploitative employment relations; b) the practices of claim-making for social rights and decent working/living conditions of migrants that have emerged within these migration regimes and c) the implications both processes entail for theorizing/conceptualizing the enabling conditions of rights-claiming and of access to justice for migrants.

She currently teaches several courses at the University of Basel and at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, covering topics like migration, gender and care work, political sociology and development/postcolonial studies.

Sarah is member of the international 'Research Network for Domestic Worker Rights' (RN-DW) and of the 'Network for Critical Research on Migration and Border Regimes' (kritnet).

Contact Information

Seminar für Soziologie, Petersgraben 27
CH - 4051 Basel


Current position:
Department of Social Sciences
Academic Institution:
Universität Basel