Economic organization, property relations, religion, civil society, ethnicity and nationalism
Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Xinjiang
Economic Anthropology; History, Ethnography, Critique
The Anthropological Field on the Margins of Europe, 1945-1991
Eastern Christianity and Western Social Theory (2011)
Moral Dispossession (2011)
Back to civilization (2011)
Personhood, Christianity, Modernity (2012)
Evolution, institutions, and human well-being (2014)
The economistic fallacy and forms of integration under and after socialism (2014)
After the Euro (2014)
Imperative Eurasia (2014)
NATO and Eurasia blog
The heart of the matter: materialities, modernities and Christian civilization (2014)
Backwardness revisited: time, space and civilization in rural Eastern Europe (2015)
A Concept of Eurasia (2016)
I was born and brought up in Wales, but my university education is from Oxford (BA 1974 in Politics, Philosophy and Economics) and Cambridge (PhD, Social Anthropology, 1979). I stayed on in Cambridge as a Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College, and later I became a lecturer at the Department of Social Anthropology. Between 1992 and joining the Max Planck Society in 1999 I was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Kent at Canterbury.
My main interests date back to my undergraduate days and my first fieldwork projects in rural Hungary and Poland. I have outlined my continuing comparisons of these two field sites elsewhere on this web site (comparisons). My work on religion derives primarily from my encounter with the Greek Catholic minority in Poland, an interest that has recently expanded to eastern Christians in general. Since 2006 I have resumed fieldwork in Xinjiang and play an active role in the focus group investigating social support and kinship (together with Dr. Ildikó Bellér-Hann of Copenhagen University). I maintain my interests in comparative economic organization, partly through collaborative projects with Catherine Alexander, Stephen Gudeman, Keith Hart and Jonathan Parry. All of this work is designed to break down disciplinary boundaries and contribute to a better world-historical understanding of socialism and postsocialist change.
In 2013 I was awarded a grant by the European Research Council, "Realising Eurasia: Civilisation and Moral Economy in the 21st Century". The concept of Eurasia, a frame for all research in the Department, has become increasingly important in my engagement with contemporary economic and political crises in Europe (REALEURASIA).