Mirela Ivanova, M.A.

Research Assistant | PhD Student

University of Basel
Institute of Sociology
Petersgraben 27
4051 Basel

Email: mirela.ivanova@unibas.ch
Phone: +41 61 207 61 49


Mirela Ivanova is a researcher and PhD candidate at the Chair of Social Structure Analysis (Prof. Dr. Oliver Nachtwey) at the Institute of Sociology, University of Basel. She has been part of the research team since September 2019.

Before joining the project, Mirela was working as a researcher on two interdisciplinary projects “The algorithm as your boss” and “Workplace Surveillance“ at the European University Viadrina. The first study investigated algorithmically mediated work in the gig-economy and the second focused on the normalization process of workplace surveillance that comes with the usage of digital technologies. She completed a research traineeship at the European Trade Union Institute in Brussels, where she contributed to a project exploring the dynamics of trade union finances. As a fellow of the ASA-Program of Engagement Global, she conducted a study on youth unemployment in the rural regions of Georgia.

Mirela holds a B.A. in Sociology from Sofia University and M.A in Sociology of European Societies from the Free University of Berlin. In her Master thesis, she investigated how employee empowerment is discursively constructed as a management technique.

Research Areas

  • Sociology of Work
  • Digitization and Capitalism
  • Sociological Theory


  • Hardering, Friedericke/ Mirela Ivanova/ Felix Nickel/ Helene Thaa (2021): Inequalities, Work Alienation and Appropriation in the Digital World of Work. In: Kupfer, Antonia (ed.), Work Appropriation and Social Inequality, Wilmington: Vernon Press, S. 71-92.
  • Ivanova, M. & von Scheve, C. (2019). Power through empowerment? The managerial discourse on employee empowerment. Organization, [doi.org/10.1177/1350508419855709]
  • Ivanova, M., Bronowicka, J., Kocher, E. & Degner, A. (2018). The App as a Boss? Control and Autonomy in Application-Based Management. Arbeit | Grenze | Fluss– Nr. 2, Frankfurt (Oder): Viadrina, [doi:10.11584/Arbeit-Grenze-Fluss.2]
  • Ivanova, M. (2017). Review of the book: The new social division: making and unmaking precariousness, by D. della Porta, T. Silvasti, S. Hänninen, M. Siisiäinen, (Eds.). Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 23(4), 495-497.

Conference Contributions

  • Rank Page One or Perish: Labour and Value in Search-Engine Optimization (with Felix Nickel). Presentation as part of the “Special Stream: Value and Labour Process Theory – revisited”, International Labour Process Conference 2021. 13. April 2021, London (online).
  • Resisting the Algorithmic Boss: Technology and collective strategies in two food delivery platforms in Berlin (with Joanna Bronowicka), International Labour Process Conference 2019. Stream: Artificial Intelligence, Technology and Work, Wien, April 2019.
  • The interplay between autonomy and control in the app-based management of food-delivery platforms, 2. Workshop des Arbeitskreises Organisation und Digitalisierung in der Sektion Organisationssoziologie der DGS, Berlin, February 2019.
  • Experiencing algorithmic control, Workshop “Algorithmic Management: Designing systems which promote human autonomy”, Privacy & Sustainable Computing Lab, Vienna University of Economics and Business, September 2018.