Carola Frege’s current research project “Them and us: working class anger, rightwing populism and the failings of labour institutions in comparative perspective” looks at workers’ perceptions of economic inequalities and right-wing populist sentiments across selected political economies and explores the deficiencies of labour institutions to tame populist working class anger even in economies with traditionally strong labour rights and welfare states. It asks for a critical re-evaluation of today`s labour institutions in balancing class and culture, thus progressive, post-materialist ideals with classic bread and butter issues in times of globalization.
Since 2008 Frege has been Professor of Comparative Employment Relations in LSE`s Management Department. Since 2020 she is Emeritus Professor and in 2021 she joined the International Inequalities Institute (III) at LSE as a Senior Fellow.
As an undergraduate she studied management and human resource management at University of Fribourg and University of Basel. She then undertook further undergraduate and postgraduate studies at LSE, completing a General Course in Sociology in 1990, a Master of Science in Industrial Relations in 1992 and a PhD in Industrial Relations in 1996. From 1996 to 2001, Frege was a Lecturer at LSE`s Industrial Relations Department. In 2001, she joined Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) where she had been appointed a tenured Associate Professor in 2003. In 2003 she returned to LSE as an Associate Professor at the Industrial Relations Department and became a Full Professor in the Management Department in 2008. During her time at LSE, she held a number of visiting academic appointments at other universities: she was a post-doc fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne in 1999, a visiting professor at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations (1999-2000), a visiting professor at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center during 2000, 2008 and 2018-2019, a visiting professor in 2008 at UCLA Anderson School of Management, and from 2012 to 2013 a visiting professor at the Management Department of the Free University of Berlin. In 2002 she received the John T. Dunlop Award.
Frege was an Output Assessor for the British Research Excellence Framework in Management in 2014. From 2015 to 2017, Frege was the chair of LSE's Taskforce on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and a member of LSE’s Senior Management Committee, Directorate.
From 1998 to 2007, she was an Editor of the British Journal of Industrial Relations (BJIR) and Chief Editor from 2008-2012. Since 2012 she is a member of the International Advisory Board and since 2021 she is Chair of BJIR's Steering Group.
Frege has published widely in the areas of employment relations and industrial sociology with a particular focus on union revitalisation strategies and the transformation and revival of workplace democracy in Western and Eastern Europe and the USA; job quality and wellbeing; migration and racism in the labour markets; as well as the social science traditions within employment research. She is a comparativist and works inter-disciplinary. Frege’s work has appeared in journals such as American Sociological Review, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, British Journal of Industrial Relations, and Industrial Relations. She is the author of Comparative Employment Relations in the Global Economy (2nd ed. with John Kelly, Routledge 2020); Employment Relations and State Traditions: A Comparative History of Britain, Germany and the United States (OUP 2007); Varieties of Unionism: Strategies for Union Revitalization in a Globalizing Economy (with John Kelly, OUP 2004); and Social Partnership at Work: Workplace Relations in Post-unification Germany (Routledge 1999).