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Sociology Research


Torsten Geelan is currently a Guest Researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Sociology Department where he is developing an independent project investigating the role of digital media in trade union revitalisation. His comparative and interdisciplinary doctorate thesis (industrial relations, sociology of media and social movement studies) deployed a case study and mixed-methods approach to understand how trade unions and worker organisations in the UK and Denmark use the media to shape employment relations. Other work has studied the rise of precarious employment amongst highly educated graduates. His research has been published in Transfer, Industrial Relations Journal and Danish Sociology.

More broadly, Torsten is interested in alternatives to the pressing socio-economic and political issues of our time: inequalities of power and wealth, the erosion of democracy and environmental degradation. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming book published by Palgrave MacMillan titled From Financial Crisis to Social Change: Towards Alternative Horizons. He is also the co-founder and co-chair of a new five-year research network (2018-2022) on Alternative Economic Practices at the Annual Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE).

As a teacher, Torsten has three years’ experience lecturing, supervising and examining undergraduate and post-graduate students. At the University of Cambridge, he has taught ‘Political Economy of Capitalism’ and ‘Global Social Analysis’. As an External Lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, he developed and taught a new Masters-level course on the ‘Comparative Sociology of Labour Markets’ which examines the ways in which national institutions and regulations impinge on the employment relationship.

Research Interests

Industrial relations; Sociology of Media; Social Movement studies; Union Renewal and New Forms of Worker Voice and Representation; Digital Media; Sociology of Labour Markets; Digital Labour and the Sharing Economy; Precarious Employment; Cross-National Research; Qualitative Methods; Theories of Power; Alternative Economic Practices

Key Publications - Books

González Hernando, M. (In contract, exp. 2017) From financial crisis to social change: Towards alternative horizons. London: Palgrave-Macmillan. Stone, D., Pautz, H. and González Hernando, M. 

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Geelan, T. (2015) Danish Trade Unions and Young People: Using Media in the Battle for Hearts and Minds, in Hodder and Kretsos (eds.) Trade Unions and Young People: A Global View, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Engberg-Pedersen, L. Webster, N. Geelan, T. and Fejerskov, A. (2014) Corporatism and the Development of Private Aid Organizations in Denmark in Hoebink and Schulpen (eds.) Private Development Aid in Europe: Foreign Aid between the Public and Private Domain, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Geelan, T. and Hodder, A. (2017) Enhancing Transnational Labour Solidarity: The Unfulfilled Promise of the Internet and Social Media, Industrial Relations Journal, doi: 10.1111/irj.12190

Skovrind, M. Ribe, M. and Geelan T. (2017) The Highly-Educated Precariat in the Danish Labour Market, Danish Sociology.

Geelan, T. (2013) Confederate Responses to the Youth Employment Crisis, Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 19 (3): 399-413.

Geelan, T. (2013) Union Solidarity International, Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 19 (3): 419-424.

Key Publications - Other

Geelan, T. (2016) Book review: Worker Resistance and the Media: Challenging Global Corporate Power in the 21st Century, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 54 (1): 239–240.

Geelan, T. (2014). Guest Lecture- Economic Sociology: Reconsidering Labour Markets, Cambridge Society for Economic Pluralism (CESP), Department of Economics, University of Cambridge. Talk can be accessed at:

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations


Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust Supplementary Funding (2014)

Oticon Foundation (2014)

Danish Tennis Foundation (2013)

Cambridge University, Fieldwork Grant (2012)

Knud Hoejgaards Foundation (2011)

Danish Educational Support Agency (2010)

Darwin College, Travel Grant (2010, 2013)

Job Title:
Affiliated Researcher
Contact Information: