Skip to main content
Professor in the Department of Anthropology+44 (0) 191 33 41622


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, Britain and Tanzania. 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). I've also explored how formerly elite closed ‘nuclear’ towns in Kazakhstan are trying to re-connect to broader economies.

I have just completed a Leverhulme Trust funded Major 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. The first publication from this is After Failure, a special issue of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

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

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article


Supervision students