Jan Breman majored in the social sciences at the University of Amsterdam and specialized in South and Southeast Asian Studies. He was Dean of CASA and co-founder (with A de Swaan) of the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, with which CASA merged, until he stepped down in September 1998. In addition, he became extraordinary professor of sociology at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, but continued to be affiliated to the Amsterdam School. He was also nominated Fellow of the International Institute of Asian Studies in Leiden. Jan Breman has been visiting professor in India (Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi), in China (Xiamen University, School of Public Affairs) and in Indonesia (Agricultural University, Bogor), and has travelled widely on short-term academic visits to other Asian countries. Breman’s research interests are work, employment and labour relations in contemporary Asia, history of colonialism, labour migration, conditions of poverty and the social question in a global perspective. He received the Edgar Graham Book Prize granted by the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1997 for original scholarship on development in Asia, an award from the Indonesian government for the Bahasa Indonesia edition of his book on coolie labour at Sumatra’s East Coast in 1998 and one for the photo-cum-text book Down and Out from the Indian Guild of Book Publishers in 2001.