Isabelle Ferreras

Isabelle Ferreras

Senior Research Associate
Isabelle Ferreras

Isabelle Ferreras is a tenured fellow of the Belgian National Science Foundation (F.N.R.S., Brussels), a professor at the University of Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium) where she is a permanent researcher at the CriDIS (Centre for interdisciplinary research Democracy, Institutions, Subjectivity, Louvain), and a senior research associate of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School (Cambridge, MA). Ferreras is an elected member of the Royal Academy for Science and Arts of Belgium.

Since 2004 at the Labor and Worklife Program, Ferreras has assisted professor Richard Freeman in helping support the development of the global Wage Indicator project, which now includes more than 60 countries. Since 2016, Ferreras has launched and coordinates the international collaborative research effort on the Political Dimensions of the Globalized Firm, which has met annually at the MIT Endicott House.

Ferreras is a sociologist (PhD, Louvain, 2004) and a political scientist (MSc, M.I.T., 2004). She is also an alumnus of the Trade Union Program (Harvard University, Class of 2005). Her research agenda has developed toward an exploration of firms as political entities from both a descriptive and normative perspective. At the micro-level, she focuses on understanding the logic of work in the context of the Western service-based economy. She has organized her observations in view of contributing to the emergence of a critical political sociology of work. At the institutional level, she is developing a companion ‘political theory of the firm’ that seeks to grasp firms as political entities, and to explore implications at both the levels of efficiency and justice (i.e. democratic accountability).

Isabelle Ferreras’ main publications include monographs: Critique politique du travail. Travailler à l'heure de la société des services (2007, Les Presses de Sciences Po, Paris); Gouverner le capitalisme ? Pour le bicamérisme économique (2012, Presses universitaires de France, Paris), book chapters for Cambridge University Press, Frommann-Holzboog (Stuttgart), Academia-Bruylant (Bruxelles), L'Harmattan (Paris), Armand Colin (Paris), Peter Lang (Brussels-London), academic peer-reviewed papers in Political Theory (with Hélène Landemore), Raisons pratiques, Recherches sociologiques et anthropologiques, International Journal of Manpower (with Jean De Munck), Cahiers de droit de l’entreprise, Concepts and Methods (with Richard Freeman and Damian Raess), and contributions to journals like Boston Review, La Revue Nouvelle, Politique, Vacarme. Her forthcoming book will be released this Fall 2017 with Cambridge University Press : Firms as Political Entities. Saving Democracy through Economic Bicameralism.

Ferreras has held research appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000), the Department of Political Science at M.I.T. (2002-03), the Center for European Studies at Harvard (2003-05), the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg, Germany (2007). In 2004 she served as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard College (Course: Political Philosophy), and in 2007 was a DAAD Visiting Professor at the University of Bremen (Graduate School of Social Sciences).

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