Economic and political anthropology; post-socialist transformations; households; financial practices/financialisation; research methods
Azerbaijan; Kazakhstan; Former Soviet Union
I was born in Scotland and studied anthropology in London and Cambridge (PhD, Social Anthropology, 2016). I’m interested in understanding how oligarchic political economies in formerly Soviet countries articulate with global economic processes, and with what ramifications for social organisation and everyday life.
My current project examines how financialisation and financial instruments are linked to household social reproduction and class transformation in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. Following a decade of dramatic oil-fuelled economic growth, the recent oil-price crisis has seen Azerbaijan face economic woes with banking sector instability, currency devaluation, and mounting household indebtedness. I use a mixed quantitative/qualitative approach to research everyday household financial practices and the domestication of financial instruments (savings, loans, mortgages) by different segments of Baku’s population.
I previously conducted fieldwork in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. My doctoral research showed how various sections of Baku’s society have coped with and participated in the political-economic transformations of the past two-and-a-half decades of independence. Recent post-doctoral work (with Dr. Giuseppe Feola at the University of Reading) entailed using a participatory research methodology to examine the adaptation capacity of the agricultural system of Southeastern Kazakhstan to projected climate change impacts.