This is an ongoing list of my academic publications.

I endeavor to publish in anthropology journals as well as interdisciplinary ones, and have a number of ongoing writing projects and collaborations in 2024. This includes a co-edited book that is in press at Cambridge University Press. The contributors include fourteen anthropologists at all career stages, including myself, and is entitled:

Anthropology and tax: Ethnographies of fiscal relations.

I also have articles in the process of revising for anthropology and area studies journals, and have recently finished revising my book manuscript,

The art of getting by in Istrian winemaking.

And I am involved in public communication of my research in the form of short articles in progress as part of my 2024 Marie Curie deliverables, as well as participating in a 'tax booklet' for use in British primary school education about tax and society spearheaded by a group of anthropology of tax scholars who are part of my growing network, the Anthropology of Tax Network.

Finally, as a fun side project, I am in the research and creative writing phase of a manuscript for new anthropology PhD students entitled, Trusting the process, that incorporates my own reflections and those from other early career anthropologists, secular and Buddhist mindfulness teachings, and creative non-fiction writing advice.

Anthropology & tax: Ethnographies of fiscal relations

Book volume, Cambridge University Press, 2024

From the perspective of individual taxpayers to international tax norm negotiators, the anthropologists in this collection explore how taxes shape our world: our social relationships and value regimes, how we exclude and include, the categories we think with, and the way we share with each other. A first of its kind, it presents an anthropological discussion about tax rooted in ethnographic work. It asks fundamental questions such as: what is tax, what is taxable, and what do taxes do? By forwarding multiple perspectives from around the world about fiscal systems and how they are experienced and constituted, Anthropology and Tax reconceptualises tax in society. In doing so, this volume makes an incisive intervention in what might be one of the most important debates of our time – that of fiscal sociality. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.

Contributors include: Johanna Mugler, Miranda Sheild Johansson, Robin Smith, Janet Roitman, Dora-Olivia Vicol, Anna-Riikka Kauppinen, Jeremy Rayner, Nicolette Makovicky, Lotta Björklund Larsen, Olly Owen, Nimmo Elmi, Kyle Willmott, Matti Eräsaari, Karen Boll, Greg Rawlings.

My contributions:

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

'Without friends, you don't exist': The value of favours in Istrian winemaking

Book chapter published in Wine and the gift: From production to consumption, 2023

Wine as commodity has received enormous academic attention, while wine as gift has largely eluded significant dedicated research and analysis. This book addresses this lacuna with insights from leading scholars from a range of disciplines exploring wine as gift in different moments of history, across a variety of production to consumption contexts, and across societies and cultures. The book draws on examples from Australia, China, Croatia, France, Italy, Moldova, United Kingdom and Aotearoa New Zealand. Through the analysis of wine as gift, indeed often as a commodity-gift hybrid, this book significantly enhances understandings of the intertwined economic, societal, political and moral aspects of wine and its production, exchange, and consumption.

Contributors include: Peter Howland, Robert Ulin, David Inglis, Marion Demossier, Graham Harding, Xiangchun Zheng, Nelson Graburn, Robin Smith, Daniela Ana, William Skinner, Jennifer Smith Maguire, John Dunning, Rachel Black, and Anna-Mari Almila.

In my chapter, focusing on one Istrian winemaking family, I explore how they engage in long-term helping relationships in their village in ways that undermine their own financial interests but contribute to the overall health of their region's economy.

Smith, Robin. 2023. 'Without friends, you don't exist': The value of favours in Istrian winemaking. In: Peter Howland (ed.), Wine and the gift: From production to consumption. London: Routledge (Critical Beverage Studies Series), 109-124. DOI: 10.4324/97810003038986-7 ISBN: 9780367482763

Contesting the social contract: Tax reform and economic governance in Istria, Croatia

Published in Social Analysis, 2020 (re-published as a book by Berghahn in 2023)

This article stems from my longterm ethnographic fieldwork in Istria with small family business owners who have had to adjust to new laws and processes as part of Croatia joining the EU.

I researched how Istrian business owners challenged the Croatian government’s motivation for and enforcement of what was locally called "fiskalizacija", an automated VAT reform adopted in 2013 as Croatia prepared for EU membership. I argue in this paper that this mode of tax payment, and the way in which it was implemented/enforced, threatened local values and perceptions of economic agency and sowed new distrust in government.

In so doing, I show that the way in which a tax reform is put into effect, including the enforcement practices of state agents, shapes how citizens perceive the social contract to be constituted by fiscal regimes.

Smith, Robin. 2020. Contesting the social contract: Tax reform and economic governance in Istria, Croatia. Social Analysis 64(2): 79-100.

Journal site for special issue: Beyond the Social Contract: An Anthropology of Tax

Introduction: Tax beyond the social contract

Published in Social Analysis, 2020 (re-published as a book by Berghahn in 2023)

This is a co-written introduction with Nicolette Makovicky to our co-edited journal special issue forwarding the anthropology of tax as a subfield of study. The authors of the articles within this special issue decenter tax as an analytic device for understanding the relationship between state and citizen, while examining the limits of social contract thinking.

Focusing on how citizens interpret and react to state efforts to promote fiscal citizenship, the contributors shed light on contemporary fiscal structures and public debates about the moralities, practices, and imaginaries of tax systems.

They use tax to explore numerous things, including the nature of citizenship, personal freedom, and moral and economic value. They also highlight how taxation may be influenced by spaces of fiscal sovereignty that exist outside or alongside the state in the form of alternative religious and economic communities.

We are hopeful that this special issue inspires much new qualitative research on taxation.

Makovicky, Nicolette & Robin Smith. 2020. Introduction: Tax beyond the social contract. Social Analysis 64(2): 1-17.

Journal site for special issue: Beyond the Social Contract: An Anthropology of Tax

Ambivalent solidarities: Food governance reconfigurations in Croatia and Italy

Published in Anthropology Today, 2020

This article examines the diverse so-called "solidarity practices" of farmers and food activists in Croatia and Italy in order to highlight the unintended consequences of mutual support initiatives and how these may reinforce disengagement from governance. Each of the authors drew from our own ethnographic fieldwork to highlight the discourse and practice of morality in food procurement and the ambivalence of the concept and practice of solidarity.

We challenge the top‐down regulatory governance of food systems. In the Croatian example (mine), farmers organize forms of economic and logistic mutual support to bypass strictures and faults of the Croatian fiscal and agricultural aid system. In Italy, producers self‐certify organic crops to avoid the costs and arbitrariness of bureaucratic procedures for organic certification.

It's a short article that allowed us to collaborate on a paper and compare notes, so to say, which is still relatively uncommon in anthropological publications.

Smith, Robin & Cristina Grasseni. 2020. Ambivalent solidarities: Food governance reconfigurations in Croatia and Italy. Anthropology Today 36(1): 12-16. Read the article

Solastalgia in Istria, Croatia

Book chapter published in Utopia & neoliberalism: Ethnographies of rural spaces, 2017

This is a volume for which I was co-editor. It was a rewarding experience to work with such a diversity of authors on such an important theme.

My chapter in this volume explores the concept of 'solastalgia', a longing or nostalgia for a physical landscape. There is a rich strand of literature on "Yugonostalgia" in anthropology, where the peoples of the former Yugoslav countries are shown to have a nostalgia for the way of life and sometimes the political or economic structures of the Yugoslav era.

What I found in my own fieldwork was a focused nostalgia on how the agricultural landscape once looked at this time, and that people continue to link the characteristics of today's landscape with the deficits of their contemporary political and economic situation. They recount the way their surroundings once looked as a way to narrate what they felt they have lost in post-socialism.

Solastalgia in Istria, Croatia. In: Hana Horáková, Andrea Boscoboinik, & Robin Smith (eds.), Utopia and neoliberalism: Ethnographies of rural spaces, Berlin: Lit Verlag, 149-170. ISBN: 9783643802156

An anthropological reflection on urban gardening through the lens of citizenship

Book chapter published in Food system transformations: Social movements, local economies, collaborative networks, 2021

This chapter is completely different from my other work. It comes out of my first postdoctoral position at Leiden University on a project called 'Food citizens? Collective food procurement in European cities' where I was asked to write about how the anthropology of citizenship might help us understand the concept of 'food citizenship' within the context of urban gardening.

Rather than being based on any fieldwork on urban gardening, I reflected instead on the rich literature of the anthropology of citizenship and ideas around terroir in European wine regions to suggest that place-based identities are as relevant in urban environments as we have understood them to be in rural ones. It's a good example of my ability to stretch into new fields (here, urban gardening and food activism literature) and I'm quite pleased with the results!

2021. An anthropological reflection on urban gardening through the lens of citizenship. In Cordula Kropp, Irene Antoni-Komar, & Colin Sage (eds.), Food system transformations: Social movements, local economies, collaborative networks. (Critical Food Studies Series) Routledge: New York, 198-210. ISBN: 9780367674229

Beyond the social contract: An anthropology of tax

Edited book volume, 2023

Co-edited with Nicolette Makovicky, this is a re-print of our journal special issue for Social Analysis.

Hanna Stalenhoef, a fellow anthropologist and my former colleague at Leiden University, created the original artwork for our cover.

2023. Beyond the social contract: An anthropology of tax. (Series: Studies in Social Analysis, Volume 15). Berghahn: Oxford. ISBN: 978-1-80539-040-4.

Periodic blogs, brief content, and public engagement pieces

I also occasionally publish short pieces online that may be of interest to some:

2024. Taxing tradition in Istria, Croatia. Rural Sociology Blog. Wageningen University (10 June).

2024. Exploring Istrian craft distilling through the ages. Total Croatia News (4 June):

2024. News from the Food Citizens? team. Food Citizens? Blog (20 March):

2023. Grasseni, Cristina, De Musso, Federico, Gracijasz, Ola, Smith, Robin, Vasile, Maria, & Vincent Walstra. Reskilling for sustainability: A perspective from comparative ethnography on collective food procurement. Kritisk Etnografi – Swedish Journal of Anthropology 5(1-2): link.

2020. Björklund Larsen, Lotta & Robin Smith. The anthropology of tax. Tax Administration Research Centre (TARC) Blog (12 October):

2018. In food we trust. Instituut Culturele Antropologie, Universiteit Leiden, 2, 15-17.

(Available in hardcopy only, so contact me if it is of interest).

2018. Community in economic ‘kriza’: Broken promises and precarity in a small Croatian farming community.

Leiden Anthropology Blog (28 November)