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Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Prof Catherine Alexander

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41622
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 41615
Room number: D106B

(email at

I’ve carried out fieldwork in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Britain on changing relations between state, market and the third sector, the built environment, migration, waste and technology. My most recent period of fieldwork explored how formerly elite closed ‘nuclear’ towns in Kazakhstan were trying to re-connect to broader economies. I read English Literature at Durham, later moving to social anthropology at Cambridge University; inbetween I worked for a number of central government departments in Britain and Turkey. I moved to the Durham Anthropology Department in 2012 after ten years working in Goldsmiths.


  • 1: Alexander, C. (2002). Personal States: making connections between people and bureaucracy in Turkey. Oxford University Press.
  • 2: Alexander, C. & Reno, J. (2012). Economies of Recycling: The global transformation of materials, values and social relations. London & New York: Zed Books.
  • 3: Alexander, C., Buchli, V. & Humphrey, C. (2007). Urban life in post-Soviet Asia. UCL Press (Routledge).
  • Alexander, C. (2009). Review of One Homeland or two? The nationalization and transnationalization of Mongolia’s Kazakhs. Central Asian Survey 29(3): 361-3.
  • Alexander, C. (2016). Charity and philanthropy. In International Encyclopaedia of Anthropology: Anthropology Beyond Text. Callan, H. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Alexander, C. (2015). Central Asia, Anthropology of. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition). Wright, J. Elsevier. 3: 316-322.
  • Alexander, C., Gregson, N. & Gille, Z. (2013). Food waste. In The Handbook of Food Research. Murcott, A., Belasco, W. & Jackson, P. Bloomsbury. 471-485.
  • Alexander, C (2013). Soviet and Post-Soviet Planning in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In Public Sector Reform. Massey, A Sage Publications Ltd. 3: 165-181.
  • Alexander, C. (2013). The Garden as Occasional Domestic Space. In The Domestic Space Reader. Briganti, C. & Mezei, K. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Alexander, C. (2012). Economic valuations and environmental policy. In A Handbook of Economic Anthropology. Carrier, J. Edward Elgar. 451-468.
  • Alexander, C. & Reno, J (2012). Introduction. In Economies of recycling: the global transformation of materials, values and social relations. Alexander, C. & Reno, J. Zed Books. 1-34.
  • Alexander, C. (2012). Remont: works in progress. In Economies of recycling: the global transformation of materials, values and social relations. Alexander, C. & Reno, J. Zed Books. 255-275.
  • Alexander, C. (2010). The Third Sector. In The Human Economy: a citizen's guide. Hart, K., Laville, J-L. & Cattani A. Polity Press. 213-224.
  • Alexander, C. (2009). Illusions of freedom: Polanyi and the third sector. In Market and society: The Great Transformation today. Hann, C. & Hart, K. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 221-239.
  • Alexander, C. (2009). Privatization: jokes, scandal and absurdity in a time of rapid change. In Ethnographies of moral reasoning: living paradoxes of a global age. Sykes, K. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 43-65.
  • Alexander, C. (2008). Waste under socialism and after: a case-study from Almaty. In Enduring Socialism: Explorations of Revolution and Transformation, Restoration and Continuation. West, H. & Raman, P. Berghahn Books. 148-168.
  • Alexander, C. (2007). Almaty: rethinking the public sector. In Urban life in post-Soviet Asia. Alexander, C., Buchli, V. & Humphrey, C. UCL Press (Routledge). 70-101.
  • Alexander, C. & Buchli, V. (2007). Introduction. In Urban Life in post-Soviet Asia. Alexander, C., Buchli, V. & Humphrey, C. UCL Press (Routledge). 1-39.
  • Alexander, C. (2004). Values, Relations and Changing Bodies: Industrial Privatisation in Kazakhstan. In Property in Question: appropriation, recognition and value transformation in the global economy. Humphrey, C. & Verdery, K. Berghahn Books.
  • Alexander,C, Hojer Bruun, M & Koch, I (Forthcoming). Moral Economies of Housing. Critique of Anthropology, Sage.
  • Alexander, C (2017). Homeless in the Homeland: housing protests in Kazakhstan. Critique of Anthropology
  • Alexander, C, Hojer Bruun, M & Koch, I (2017). Political Economy Comes Home: On the Moral Economies of Housing. Introduction. Critique of Anthropology
  • Alexander, C. (2017). The meeting as subjunctive form: public/private IT projects in British and Turkish state bureaucracies. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 23(S1): 80-94.
  • Alexander, C. & Reno, J.O. (2014). From Biopower to Energopolitics in England’s Modern Waste Technology. Anthropological Quarterly 87(2): 335-358.
  • Alexander, C. (2010). Wasting the planet? Review essay of Garbage In, Garbage Out: Solving the Problems with Long-Distance 
Trash Transport, by Vivian Thomson, University of Virginia Press. Anthropology Now 3-8.
  • Alexander, C., Curran, A., Smaje, C. & Williams, I. (2009). Evaluation of bulky waste and re-use schemes in England. Proc on Inst of Civil Engineers, Journal of Waste and Resources Management 162(3): 141-150.
  • Alexander, C., Smaje, C., Timlett, R. & Williams, I. (2009). Improving Social technologies for recycling: interfaces, estates, multi-family dwellings and infrastructural deprivation. Proc of Inst of Chartered Engineers. Waste and Resources Management 162(1): 15-28.
  • Alexander, C., Druckman, A., Osinski, C. & Jackson, T. (2009). Use of home food digesters to reduce household waste. Journal of Waste and Resources Management (Institute of Chartered Engineers 162(3): 129-139.
  • Alexander, C. & Smaje, C. (2008). Evaluating third sector re-use organisations in the UK: case studies and analysis of furniture re-use schemes. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 53(5): 719-730.
  • Alexander, C. (2008). Waste minimisation and surplus retail food redistribution: an analysis of the FareShare brokering model. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 52: 1290-1298.
  • Alexander, C. (2007). Soviet and post-Soviet city planning: a case study from Almaty. Critique of Anthropology 27(2): 165-182.
  • Alexander, C. & Tatibekov, B. (2006). Characteristics of migration in Kazakhstan. Europe-Asia Journal: society, policy, culture 1(53): 101-7.
  • Alexander, C. (2006). Rethinking the household and domestic material flows. Warmer Bulletin: journal of sustainable waste management & resource recovery 55: 11-14.
  • Alexander, C. (2004). Review essay of Michael Brown's Who Own's Cultural Property? Political and Legal Anthropology (PoLAR) 27(2): 113-128.
  • Alexander, C. (2004). The cultures and properties of decaying buildings. Focaal: European Journal of Anthropology 44: 48-60.
  • Alexander, C. (2003). Images of the state in contemporary Turkey. Turkish Studies Bulletin 1.
  • Alexander, C. (2003). Taking Control of Aisha Bibi: nationalist projects and local heritage in Kazakhstan. Kumbez: Space, Time, Architecture 1: 23-32.
  • Alexander, C. (2002). The garden as occasional domestic space. Signs: the journal of women, culture and society 27(3): 467-485.
  • Alexander, C. (2001). Legal and binding: time, change and long-term transactions. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 7(3): 467-485.

Research Groups