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Michelle Phillips

Michelle Phillips

Ph.D Candidate, Sociology

I am a 6th-year Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at UC Berkeley, with my current research focusing on the intersection of business, politics, migration and human rights, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. I do my research with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for social justice, focusing on questions ranging from the role of state in international trade and migration, the effectiveness of particular policies as well as their unintended consequences, to the impact of business interests on the implementation and consistency of government intervention. In an increasingly interconnected economy crossing political borders, I believe it is crucial to study and understand what motivates the people behind these institutions, as well as to highlight the de facto impact of the policies and strategies they implement. Raised in Mainland China from the time I was four years old, I am fluent in Mandarin and have learned Indonesian in order to speak to migrants for my dissertation focused on the system of transnational migrant domestic labor. I hope to use my research findings to propose changes in Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines regarding better protections for migrant workers and their employers, and increase understanding.

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