Robin Smith is a Political Economy Fellow of the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies with Russian and East European Studies and a Fellow at St Antony’s College.
Robin is an anthropologist of post-socialist Europe. She is interested in questions of rural debt and economic governance: How do rural businessmen make ends meet in times of protracted economic precarity, and how are post-socialist governments contributing to or mitigating the effects of joining the EU for their citizens? Her research integrates anthropology and political economy to shed light on the difficulties of maintaining rural livelihoods in the modern economy, focusing on a community of farmers in northwest Croatia to understand broader issues affecting southeastern Europeans today.
Her current research project explores the financial practices of agribusinesses, bringing together literatures on debt, informal economies, barter, and corruption to explain how corporations in post-socialist Europe influence local markets. An outgrowth of researching the financial lives of rural businessmen, she is part of developing a network of anthropologists studying taxation in society, including a journal special issue and a co-edited book volume on the subject.
Robin additionally has a background in both political science and economics, and has worked and researched in Kosovo, the Republic of Moldova, and Bulgaria, but most extensively in Croatia. She completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford, where she did research for a number of years on the Croatian wine sector.
Robin is the author of:
Ambivalent solidarities: Food reconfigurations in Croatia and Italy. With Cristina Grasseni. 'Anthropology Today' 36(1): 12-16.
Solastalgia in Istria, Croatia: Winemaker narratives of landscape and loss. In: Andrea Boscoboinik, Hana Horáková, & Robin Smith (eds.), 'Utopia and neoliberalism: ethnographies of rural spaces', Berlin: Lit Verlag, 149-170, 2018.