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À propos de Annuska DERKS

Email Annuska DERKS



- 2005 : PhD in Social Anthropology, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

- 1995 : MA in Development Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen

- 1995 : MA in Social-Cultural Anthropology, Radboud University, Nijmegen


Annuska Derks is a Swiss National Science Foundation Research Fellow, affiliated with the Institute for Social Anthropology of Bern University and the Center for Asian Studies at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva. She is currently based in Vietnam, where she is a Visiting Lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology of the Vietnam National University, Hanoi and conducting research.


Annuska Derks has held teaching positions at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Berne (2001-2005) and the Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU), Munich (summer semester 2000). During the past 15 years, she has conducted extensive research in mainland Southeast Asia. Her PhD thesis focused on the migration, employment, and urban experiences of young Cambodian women in Phnom Penh’s factories, sex business and informal sector and was published at University of Hawai’i Press under the title Khmer Women on the Move: Exploring Work and Life in Urban Cambodia (2008). She has also worked as a researcher and consultant for various international and national organizations on issues related to ethnic groups, democratization, gender, sex work and trafficking in persons.

Annuska Derks coordinated a research project on “Contemporary Forms of Bonded Labour in Southeast Asia” (2006-2010) at the Institute of Social Anthropology, Bern University and the Graduate Institute in Geneva. The project, consisting of five subprojects, addressed the conditions and mechanisms that result in bonded labor arrangements in different sectors and countries in past and present Southeast Asia. Her own research focused on the mobilization and control of labor in Cambodia (and of Cambodians overseas) and analyzed the inter-relationships between debt, mobility and dependency as they have evolved over time.

In her most recent research project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Annuska Derks seeks to explore the interchange between humans and their natural environment as well as the relationships between social and economic change and sustainable development through the study of a small yet ubiquitous source of energy in Northern Vietnam, i.e. the coal briquette (than tổ ong). She is furthermore working with colleagues from the Faculty of Sociology of the VNU in a NAFOSTED research project focusing on village identity in Northern Vietnam.


  • Southeast Asia, in particular, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand
  • Migration; Trafficking in Persons
  • Labor; 'Bonded Labor'; Slavery
  • Gender; Sexuality; Modernity
  • Material Culture, environmental Anthropology



Monographs, edited volumes

• Ed. (2010) Exploring Past and Present Forms of Bonded Labour in Southeast Asia. Special Focus Issue, Asian Journal of Social Science 38(4).

• (2008) Khmer Women on the Move: Exploring Work and Life in Urban Cambodia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. 258p.


Articles in reviewed journals and edited books

• (In press) The Politics of Labour Export. In: Hughes, Caroline and Kheang Un (eds.): Cambodia’s Economic Transformation. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.

• (2010) Introduction. Asian Journal of Social Science 38(4). Pp 839-852.

• (2010) Labour Migration and the Politics of Immobilization: The Case of Cambodian Fishermen in Thailand. Asian Journal of Social Science 38(4). Pp.915-932.

• (2006) Khmer Daughters and Global Factories. In: Ollier, Leakthina and Tim Winter (eds.): Expressions of Cambodia: The Politics of Tradition, Identity and Change. London: Routledge. Pp. 193-204.

• (2004) The Broken Women of Cambodia. In: Micollier, Evelyne (ed.): SexualCultures in East Asia. The Social Construction of Sexuality and Sexual Risk in a Time of AIDS. London: RoutledgeCurzon. Pp. 127-155.


Other articles, working papers, reviews

• (2010) The Boundaries of Bondage. In: De Jonge, Huub and Toon van Meijl (eds.): On the Subject of Labour. Essays in Memory of Frans Hüsken. Nijmegen: In de Walvis. Pp. 85-89.

• (2010) Book Review: Stitching Identities in a Free Trade Zone: Gender and Politics in Sri Lanka. Sandya Hewamanne. In: American Anthropologist 112(2). Pp. 328-329.

• (2009) Diversity in Ethnicity: A Picture of the Vietnamese in Cambodia. In: Hean Sokhom (ed.) Ethnic Groups in Cambodia. Phnom Penh: Center for Advanced Study. Pp. 535-556.

• (2006) Frauenhandel, zwischen Drama und Dramatisierung. In: Zwahlen, Sara and Wolfgang Lienemann (eds.): Kollektive Gewalt. Bern etc.: Peter Lang. Pp.171-190.

• (2005) with Buechel, Romana, Susanne Loosli and Sue Thueler (eds.): Social Security in Southeast Asia. Working Paper No. 31. Institute for Social Anthropology, University of Bern.

• (2004) When Khmer Daughters Move. Tsantsa 9. Pp. 109-113.

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