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Professor in the Department of AnthropologyD106B+44 (0) 191 33 41622
Associate Member in the Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS)  


I read English Literature at Durham, later moving to social anthropology at Cambridge University. Inbetween I worked for a number of central government departments in Britain and Turkey. I moved to the Durham Anthropology Department in 2012 after ten years in Goldsmiths.

I’ve carried out fieldwork in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Britain. Most of that has been on changing relations between state, market and the third sector, the built environment, local and central bureaucracy, migration, and various forms of waste and recycling (repair, reuse, recovery etc). My last period of fieldwork explored how formerly elite closed ‘nuclear’ towns in Kazakhstan were trying to re-connect to broader economies.

I’m currently on a Leverhulme Trust research fellowship (2019-2022) thinking about how different forms and fears of failure affect complex organisations, such as large science collaborations, and how they are experienced by the people who work within them.

Research interests

  • Urban anthropology
  • Social/public housing
  • post-socialism
  • Middle East (Turkey)
  • Central Asia (Kazakhstan)
  • Britain
  • Economic and political anthropology
  • Changing property regimes
  • Privatisation
  • Third / voluntary sector
  • wastes (including recycling)
  • Bureaucracy
  • Indeterminacy
  • Failure
  • Inequalities
  • Migration


Authored book

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Supervision students