An anthropologist of post-socialist Europe, I do research in Istria, Croatia with farmers and rural business owners to learn about their lives as they adapt to the European economy. I am interested in the types of economic issues that shape their daily business and personal lives, and how farmers in particular come to understand their role in developing and managing their local market. My main point of focus is their economic values, and how those play out in everyday business and social life.
For the past few years, I have been developing my theoretical approach to complex business networks in Croatia's agrarian economy both for my ongoing monograph, a series of journal articles, and new research project.
I began my Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship in February 2022 at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. My research project is on the tax and other financial practices of Croatian businesses and their impact on the development of rural economies. It is a multi-year project based at the Department of Organization and my mentor is Karen Boll.
I am also an academic guest at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, where I began in 2021 as a Wenner-Gren Hunt Fellow working on my book project entitled, The Art of Getting By in Istrian Winemaking, which is being revised.
I have published articles on local resistance to tax reforms, an introduction to the anthropology of tax, urban gardening, and solidarity networks in farming. I am also interested in alternative food procurement and distribution networks in urban Europe. In all my work, I am concerned with how economic systems are experienced by farmers in different ways. Because of this, I am particularly interested in issues surrounding agricultural finance.
I have collaborated to co-create a special issue on the anthropology of tax in Social Analysis with Nicolette Makovicky as co-editor. This was an output of our panel at the UK's ASA in 2018 entitled "The sociality of tax: State-citizen imaginaries". It was a magical panel event that drew in a large handful of scholars focusing on tax. So much so that I built us the website, The Anthropology of Tax Network, so that we can promote our work and find new synergies for collaboration. It has resources like an ongoing bibliography that I maintain, and links to researchers and projects. This has recently grown into an EASA Anthropology of Tax Network, to widen our visibility and promote this sub-field.
Johanna Mugler and Miranda Sheild Johansson are my co-editors on a book volume under contract with Cambridge UP, entitled: Anthropology and Tax: Ethnographies of Fiscal Relations, due out in late 2023. It has over 15 contributors who bring in a whole new range of topics into the anthropology of tax.
Marie Curie Fellow, Marie Skłodowska-Curie EU Horizon 2020, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, 2022-25
Wenner-Gren Hunt Fellow, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, 2021
Political Economy Fellow, Independent Social Research Foundation, University of Oxford, UK, 2019-20
D.Phil. Anthropology, University of Oxford, 2017
M.A. Politics, Security, and EU Integration, University College London, 2005
Post-doctoral Research & Writing Grants
Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCIF), 2 years
Wenner-Gren Hunt Fellowship, 1 year
Independent Social Research Foundation Political Economy Fellowship, 1 year
Doctoral Research Grants
Clarendon Fund, University of Oxford, Oxford University Press, 3 years
American Council of Learned Societies, Fieldwork Dissertation Research Fellowship in East European Studies, 1 year
Agribusiness & Rural Business Volunteer Consultant, Peace Corps, Republic of Moldova, 2008-10
Central European Research Intern, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, Washington, D.C., 2007
Junior Economics Researcher, the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, 2006-07
Project Site Coordinator, Balkan Sunflowers, Kosovo, 2004
This is a list of conference papers, some of which have subsequently been revised for publications or are being incorporated into my book project.
I co-organized a roundtable at the AAA, 'Imagining Fiscal Futures: What is an Anthropology of Tax'. See: www.tax-anthro.net for more details.
Activities mostly cancelled due to Covid-19.
Instead, in spring 2020 I gave presentations of my research to the Department of Anthropology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands and to the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies at the University of Oxford, UK.
"Contesting the social contract: Tax reform and economic governance in Istria, Croatia". The anthropology of tax workshop, Stockholm Univ.
"The (im-)morality of business: informal financial practices in Croatia’s wine industry". The moral dimensions of economic life in Eastern Europe, Roundtable at the Oxford School of Global Studies, Oxford Univ.
"Enacting economic agency: struggles over the economic governance of Istria". Becoming taxpayers: establishing the anthropology of tax. Workshop at Stockholm University.
"Chains of debt: winemaking families and predatory business practices". Household and personal debt: international perspectives, Roundtable at the Department of Anthropology, the London School of Economics.
"Chains of debt and the politics of liquidity in Croatia’s agribusiness sector". Corporate lives after socialism: theory and ethnography, at the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Boston, MA.
"The sociality of taxes: state-citizen imaginaries". Panel convened by Robin Smith and Nicolette Makovicky at the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth at Oxford Univ.
"Wine is alive: Istrian cosmologies of winemaking" (plan to publish). Wine Mobilities: tensions in crafting wine stories, at the European Association of Social Anthropologists Conference (EASA) at Stockholm Univ.
"Broker capitalism and democratic discontent: recession, favors, and farmer protest". Purposeful Agency & Governance, International Multidisciplinary Conference at the Univ. of Kent, Canterbury.
"Fiskalizacija and informality in rural Istrian business communities: business values confronting a bureaucratizing state" (different versions). Precarious Economy: Informality and Entrepreneurship at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Dec., Univ. of Sussex. And at Multiple Moralities and Shadow Economies in Post-Socialism: debating positive and negative incentives to tackle the informal economy, Marie Curie Summer School, organized by Univ. of Sheffield School of Management.
"The influence of EU agricultural legislation on traditional farming practices and rural trading relationships in Istria’s wine industry". International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF), 12th Congress, Zagreb.
"Agrotourisms and the marketization of rural Istrian identity through food". Past, Present, Future: Identity in Flux, Univ. of Pula.