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Prof. Gracia Liu-Farrer


Gracia Liu-Farrer (Ph.D. Sociology, University of Chicago), is professor of sociology at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies. Her research examines immigrants’ economic, social and political practices in Japan, and the global mobility of students and professional migrants. Currently she investigates how the globalizing labor market restructure migrants’ careers as well as redefine the meanings of work, and how firms in Japan and Germany deal with the increase of mobile workers. She has authored many book chapters and journal articles. Her books include the monograph Labor Migration from China to Japan: International Students, Transnational Migrants (Routledge, 2011), the Handbook of Asian Migrations (co-edited with Brenda Yeoh, Routledge, 2018), and the monograph Immigrant Japan: Mobility and Belonging in an Ethno-nationalist Society (Cornell University Press, 2020). 

Research Projects

2021-2024 Primary Investigator (PI): JSPS KIBAN-B "Determinants of international students' educational mobility: a comparative study of Japan and Germany"

2017-2020 “Global Labor Mobility and the Changing Meanings of Work and Workplace: A Comparative Study of Germany and Japan,” Japan Ministry of Education (MEXT)/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Fund for the promotion of International Joint Research. 


2020-2021 “Japan’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Determinants, Trajectories and Outcomes,” Waseda Special Research Project. 


  • Gracia Liu-Farrer, Wendy Pearlman, Mohammed Al-Masri. 2024. Neoliberal humanitarianism: Contradictory policy logics and Syrian refugee experiences in Japan. Migration Studies, mnae007,

  • Liu-Farrer, G. and Tamang, D. 2023. Visa policies, migration industry and the ethnic entrepreneurship trap: the case of Nepalese restaurant businesses in Japan. Asian Anthropology 22 (3), 177-195.

  • G Liu-Farrer, AE Green, C Ozgen, MA Cole. 2023. Immigration and labor shortages: Learning from Japan and the United Kingdom. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 32 (2), 336-361.

  • G Liu-Farrer, BSA Yeoh, M Baas. 2023. The Question of Skill in Cross-border Labour Mobilities. Taylor & Francis.

  • G Liu-Farrer. 2023. The logics of staying for highly skilled Asian migrants in Japan. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 32 (1), 105-128.

  • グラシアファーラー. 2023. 1990年から21世紀における出入国在留管理. 入管の解体と移民庁の創設: 出入国在留管理から多文化共生への転換. (編)加藤丈太郎

  • Fresnoza-Flot, A. and Liu-Farrer, G. eds., 2022. Tangled Mobilities: Places, Affects, and
    Personhood across Social Spheres in Asian Migration (Vol. 12). Berghahn Books.

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia. 2022. Japan's immigration in the Heisei Era: Population, Policy and the Ethno-nationalist Dilemma,” in Noriko Murai, Jeff Kingston and Tina Burret (eds), Japan in the Heisei Era (1989-2019): Multidisciplinary Perspectives. London: Routledge:140-152

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia. 2022. International Students as Transnational Migrants,” in F. Collins and B.S. Yeoh (eds) Handbook of Transnationalism, Chapter 20. Edward Elgar Publishing.

  • J Kato, G Liu-Farrer. 2022. Becoming ‘Illegal’: The Institutional Mechanisms of Migrants’ Illegalization in Japan. アジア太平洋討究 44, 183-199

  • 2021 Phillimore, J., Liu-Farrer, G. & Sigona, N. Migrations and diversifications in the UK and
    Japan. Comparative Migration Studies 9, 54 (2021).

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia. 2020. “Post-COVID Japan will attract the world: A new destination for workers and students who once went West.” Foreign Affairs, July 24,2020.

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia. 2020. Immigrant Japan: Mobility and Belonging in an Ethno-nationalist Society. Cornell University Press.

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia, Brenda S. Yeoh, and Michiel Baas. 2020. "Social Construction of Skill: An Analytical Approach Toward the Question of Skill in Cross-Border Labour Mobilities". Journal of Ethnic And Migration Studies - Special Issue: The Question of Skill in Cross-Border Labour Mobilities, 1-15. doi:10.1080/1369183x.2020.1731983.

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia, and Karen Shire. 2020. "Who are the Fittest? The Question of Skills in National Employment Systems in an Age of Global Labour Mobility". Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies- Special Issue: The Question of Skill in Cross-Border Labour Mobilities, 1-18. doi:10.1080/1369183x.2020.1731987.

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia. 2020 (February) Japan and Immigration: Looking Beyond the Tokyo Olympics. The Asia Pacific Journal-Japan Focus. Volume 18, Issue 4, Number 5

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia 2019. International Student Mobilities in East Asia. Global-e. Vol. 12, Issue. 51.

  • Liu-Farrer, Gracia and An Huy Tran. 2019. “Bridging the Institutional Gaps: International Education as a Migration Industry,” International Migration. Volume57, Issue3, 235-249, doi: 10.1111/imig.12543

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