My current project




Welcome to this page. I plan for this to be a repository of scholarly resources about the shortcomings of capitalism, as well as a space to publicize the output for my ongoing research project at Copenhagen Business School, AnthroTax.


The citations I will share will be broadly categorized and added to over time. As it is a result of a research project, it will initially focus on southeastern European countries, but by no means is this meant to suggest that this region is the only place where capitalism is going wrong, obviously. Instead, it reflects where research has focused in the past. By broadening to cover capitalist systems in general, this site seeks to break down superficial divisions between academic conversations and analyses of the state of late capitalism today.


This comes out of a research project analyzing the rise of predatory economic practices in post-socialist Europe. It was initially funded by the Marie Curie program of EU Horizon 2020 with the title AnthroTax. However, fairly early into its evolution, a realization came that really, these financial practices are no more corrosive and debilitating than those prevalent in western European countries. And that maybe, just maybe, what we are seeing in examples of predatory companies that such business owners are actually simply good students of late capitalism, and that the only difference may be that some governance institutions, like courts and central governing bodies, have fewer barricades in place to mediate their effects.


Much ink has been spilled over the last decades tracing the development of democratic and market institutions in the post-socialist space, and analyzing their declines - as ‘democratic backsliding’. But what about the democratic backsliding of the United States?


With such caveats in mind, I launch this page presenting some academic conversations around the topics of state capture, clientelism, informality, and state-business ties in general, mostly of the southeastern European persuasion because this is the language used and the region the language is commonly applied to. But hopefully, close readers will come to see that actually, much can be applied in the other direction. It is obvious by now that Western nations are not immune to the entrenchment of private interests in government, so hopefully those studying the phenomenon in the post-socialist sphere have given us a head start and some tools to think with in turning our gaze back on ourselves.


Ongoing bibliography link (to be added in June 2024)

Public communication of research


AnthroTax 2024

Taxing Tradition in Istria, Croatia

Rural Sociology Blog at Wageningen University & Research


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Terroir and EU Policies on Origin Products

2024. Invited lecture at Wageningen University & Research. Course: Origin Food: People, Place, and Products, convened by Dr. Mark Vicol.



Kindred Spirits in Istrian Distilling

2024. Invited lecture at Wageningen University & Research. Public Administration & Policy Group, Food for Thought lecture series.


Exploring Istrian Craft Distilling through the Ages

Total Croatia News


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Food Citizenship in Urban Europe

2024. Invited lecture at Wageningen University & Research. Course: Sociology of Food and Place, on the concept of food citizenship in Europe, convened by Joost Jongerden and Oona Morrow.

Academic publications from AnthroTax

2024

Smith, Robin. 2024. 'The persistence of kindred spirits: Tax and values in Istrian distilling'. In: Mugler, Johanna, Miranda Sheild Johansson, & Robin Smith (eds.), Anthropology & tax: Ethnographies of fiscal relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 113-135. ISBN: 9781009254588


Mugler, Johanna, Miranda Sheild Johansson, & Robin Smith. 2024. 'Advancing an anthropology of tax'. In: Mugler, Johanna, Miranda Sheild Johansson, & Robin Smith (eds.), Anthropology & tax: Ethnographies of fiscal relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-48. ISBN: 9781009254588