Abteilung 'Resilienz und Transformation in Eurasien'

In its first years (1999-2005) this department concentrated its research on postsocialist property relations. This phase was followed by a project on citizenship in the Caucasus and by a series of studies of religion after socialism (until 2010). Themes and spatial boundaries have been progressively expanded to include China and Vietnam (since 2006) and Japan (since 2009). Work on "industry and inequality" (2012-2015) enlarged the frame with projects in S. Asia and Egypt. Research into "financialization" (2015-2019) extended from Spain to China.

All projects of the Department are organized within the optic of "Eurasia". After 2009 fieldwork-based research was supplemented by several projects in historical anthropology. A concept of Eurasia also forms the frame for our interdisciplinary International Max Planck Research School "Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Eurasia" (2012-2021) and for the ERC Project "Realising Eurasia: Civilization and Moral Economy in the 21st Century" (2014-2020).

The year 2017 brought two significant initiatives: a collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, and the Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University, "Centre for Ethics, Economy and Social Change" ("Max-Cam"); and a network to strengthen anthropological research in the Visegrád states, "V4Net". These activities will be concluded in 2021, when the Department will cease to exist. Christoph Brumann and Kirsten Endres will continue as Heads of Research Groups. Chris Hann will be Emeritus Director from September 2021.

Max Planck Cambridge Centre launched (Website of the University of Cambridge)

Current Projects

Project funded by the European Research Council in the Seventh Framework Programme (ERC Advanced Grant) (2014-2020)


The Max Planck Cambridge Centre for Ethics, Economy and Social Change is a jointly funded collaboration with the Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge, and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen.
The Visegrád Anthropologists' Network is a loose cooperation of socio-cultural anthropologists dedicated primarily to investigating contemporary social phenomena in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia (the V4).
The International Max Planck Research School for the Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Eurasia is a Ph.D programme organized jointly with the disciplines of archaeology and history at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg.

Historische Ethnologie Eurasiens



The Political and Economic Anthropology of Southeast Asia


Abgeschlossene Projekte

Completed Projects


Buddhist Temple Economies in Urban Asia (final report)


Patriarchy and Familism in Time and Space: the comparative study of co-residence across Eurasia (final report)


The Global Political Economy of Cultural Heritage (final report)


Ethnic Minorities and the State in Eurasia (final report)


The Global Political Economy of Cultural Heritage (final report)


Traders, Markets, and the State in Vietnam (final report)


Social Support and Kinship in China and Vietnam (final report)


Religion, Identity, Postsocialism (final report)


Caucasian Boundaries and Citizenship from Below (final report)


Property Relations (final report)

Upcoming Events

Society and Morality in Eurasia: from Prehistory to the Present Day

Final Conference of the International Max Planck Research School for the Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Eurasia (IMPRS ANARCHIE)
DATE: 07.07.2021 - 09.07.2021
LOCATION: Main Seminar Room


Vox Populi Visegradensis. The Anthropology of East-Central Europe

DATE: 14.07.2021 - 17.07.2021
LOCATION: Schloss Ringberg


Abschiedssymposium für Chris Hann

Chris Hann's Retirement Symposium is postponed until 24 June 2022.
LOCATION: Main Seminar Room

Goody Lecture

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

University of Oslo/ External Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Title: The Treadmill Paradox in Cultural History: Competitive global capitalism and the Anthropocene challenge

Date: June 24, 2021, 18:00

The following link will allow you to join the event:

Recent Publications

Latest Thinking

Publication Series

Halle Studies in the Anthropology of Eurasia (LIT-Verlag, Berlin-Münster-Wien-Zürich-London)

Max Planck Studies in Anthropology and Economy (Berghahn Books)

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