Jens has an MA and PhD in Social Geography from the University of Copenhagen. His research focuses on India. His research interests include the political economy of agrarian transformation, and class and caste relations in agrarian transition; the political economy of labour relations, unfree labour and rural labour migration; and struggles, movements and labour organisations; and the role of the ILO.
Jens has researched extensively in northern India since the early 1990s, with particular interests in agrarian change, caste and labour relations, including seasonal domestic labour migration. He has also undertaken many shorter field research visits to many other parts of India and in 2000-2002 he worked as Governance Advisor for the Great Lakes (Africa) region in the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK government.
Recent publications include the co-authored volume Ground Down by Growth. Tribe, Caste, Class, and Inequality in Twenty-First Century India; and articles on class, caste and social mobilisation, and on agrarian transition and agrarian crisis an Indian context.
He is editor of the Journal of Agrarian Change. His present research is on inequality and poverty of Dalits and Adivasis in India, funded by the ESRC and ERC.