C.V. | Completed Project 1 | Completed Project 2 | Comparison | Publications | Residence and Work

Research Interests
Social change; rescources and property relations; inequalities and social exclusion; migration and mobility.

Research Area(s)
Bulgaria, Ukraine, Eastern Europe.


Deema Kaneff is an Associate in the Law and Anthropology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Adelaide, Australia, before taking up a postdoctoral post at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge, England. In 1999 she moved to Germany to take up the position of Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany. She continues her affiliation with the Max Planck Institute as an Associate, as well as holding her present position (since August 2007) as Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Birmingham.

Dr Kaneff has carried out long term fieldwork in rural and urban areas of Bulgaria during both the socialist and postsocialist periods, and, since 2000, also rural Ukraine. She has worked on a range of topics, including local politics and state building, property relaitons, resources and social change, markets and moralities, transnational migration, and social exclusion and inequalities. She is the author of Who Owns the Past: The Politics of Time in a ‘Model’ Bulgarian Village (Berghahn 2004) and co-editor (with Kristen Endres) of Explorations in Economic Anthropology: Key Issues adn Critical Reflections (Berghahn 2021) as well as a number of other edited volumes and special issues.

Why Law and Anthropology?

The intersection of Law and anthropology is prominient in a range of fields of activity and a vital dimension of interdisciplinary research. In my own work the two fields have intersected in numerous crucial ways. This has occured most directly in terms of my early engagement with the legal profession when supporting asylum cases in the UK by east European refugees (before their entry into the EU). Less directly, but equally of relevance, the intersection is evident in my work on property relations and the implementation, on the ground of post socialist reforms; as well as in questions of equality, marginality and exclusion.

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