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Department of Social Anthropology



Andrew Sanchez is a specialist on the anthropology of class, labour and corruption, and has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in urban India among industrial workers, trade unionists and entrepreneurs. He is the author of ‘Criminal Capital: Violence, Corruption and Class in Industrial India’ (Routledge 2016), which considers how experiences of dispossession relate to criminality in corporations and political institutions.

Andrew earned his PhD in anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2009. Prior to joining the University of Cambridge, he held teaching and research positions at the LSE, the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, and the University of Kent.

Andrew is the editor of The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, and a member of the University Council, the principal executive and policy-making body of the University of Cambridge.


Capitalism, Class, Corruption, Economy, India, Industry, Organised Crime, Urban Anthropology, Work and Labour.

Andrew is currently conducting an ethnographic study of the Indian scrap metal industry, which addresses key conceptual debates in the anthropology of value, exchange and work. From 2018 he will begin new research in the UK, which considers how conditions of uncertainty affect political and economic decision making for the urban poor.



2016. Criminal Capital: Violence, Corruption and Class in Industrial India, Routledge

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

2020. ‘Transformation and the Satisfaction of Work’ Social Analysis 64(3): 68-94

2019. 'Understanding Labour Politics in an Age of Precarity' (with Sian Lazar) Dialectical Anthropology 43(1): 3-14

2019. 'Everyday Barricades: Bureaucracy and the Affect of Struggle in Trade Unions' (with Eeva Kesküla) Dialectical Anthropology 43(1): 109-125

2018.‘Canon Fire: Decolonizing the Curriculum’ The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology36 (2): 1-6

2017. ‘The Novelty of the Gift: A British Anthropologist & the Trends of Ethnography’ History and Anthropology 28 (5): 553-559

2016. ‘Profane Relations: The Irony of Offensive Jokes in India’ History and Anthropology 27 (3): 296-312

2014. ‘Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on India’s Working Classes’ (with Christian Strümpell) Modern Asian Studies 48(5): 1233-1241

2014. ‘Sons of Soil, Sons of Steel: Autochthony Descent and the Class Concept in Industrial India’ (with Christian Strümpell) Modern Asian Studies 48(5): 1276-1301

2012. ‘Deadwood and Paternalism: Rationalising Casual Labour in an Indian Company Town’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute18 (4): 808-827

2012. ‘Questioning Success: Dispossession and the Criminal Entrepreneur in Urban India’ Critique of Anthropology 32 (4): 435-457

2010. ‘Capitalism, Violence and The State: Crime, Corruption and Entrepreneurship in an Indian Company TownJournal of Legal Anthropology,1 (2):165-188

Edited Works

2019 . ’Labour Politics in an Age of Precarity’ (co-edited with Sian Lazar) Dialectical Anthropology 43(1)

2019. Indeterminacy: Waste, Value and the Imagination. Berghahn. (co-edited with Catherine Alexander)

2018. ‘Canon Fire: Decolonizing the Curriculum’ The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 36(2)

2017.  ‘The Indian Gift: a Critical Debate’History and Anthropology 28 (5): 553-583

2014. ‘Class Matters: New Ethnographic Perspectives on the Politics of Indian Labour’ (co-edited with Christian Strümpell) Modern Asian Studies 48(5)

Chapters in Edited Volumes

2019. ‘Systemic Criminality, Work and The Politics of Labour’. The Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics. Gilmour, S & Allum, F. (eds). Edward Elgar pp.374-388

2019. ‘The Values of Indeterminacy’ (with Catherine Alexander)  Indeterminacy: Waste, Value and the Imagination. Alexander, C & Sanchez, A (eds.) Berghahn. pp. 1-30

2018. ‘The Fall and Rise of Class’. The Handbook of Political AnthropologyWydra, H & Thomassen, B. (eds.) Edward Elgar. pp. 410-422

2018. ‘Division of Labour’ International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Hilary Callan (ed.) Wiley-Blackwell

2018. ‘Piece Rates’ International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Hilary Callan (ed.) Wiley-Blackwell

2018. ‘Relative Precarity: Decline, Hope and the Politics of Work’ Industrial Labor on the Margins of Capitalism: Precarity, Class and the Neoliberal Subject. Hann, C & Parry, JP. (eds) Berghahn pp. 218-240

2017. ‘Coercion and Corporate Power: Notes on Class Struggle in an Indian City’. The Corporation: A Critical, Multidisciplinary Handbook. Grietje Baars & Andre Spicer (eds.) Cambridge University Press. pp. 470-478

2015. ‘Criminal Entrepreneurship: A political economy of corruption and organised crime in India’ Routledge Handbook of Political Corruption. Paul Heywood (ed.) Routledge pp. 67-76

Reports and Comments

2016. ‘Corruption is both a symptom of the basic structures of capitalism, and a technology that supports them’. LSE South Asia. May 12 2016

2015. ‘FT could be more critical of a company town’ Financial Times. November 12 2015

2012. ‘Corruption in India’. India: The Next Superpower? LSE IDEAS SR010 March 2012: 50-53

2011. ‘Criminal Capital’ LSE Connect, Winter 2011:12-13

2011. ‘Taking Stock: Looting and the Left in the London Riots’ City Analysis

Teaching and Supervisions



SAN1: Social Anthropology: The Comparative Perspective Critical issues: Politics and economic life

SAN2: Comparative Social Analysis: Economic Anthropology

SAN4b: South Asia: The Political Economy of Modern India

SAN6: Political Economy and Social Transformations: Organised Crime and Corruption

SAN12: Cities and Space:  Concepts & Methods in Urban Anthropology; City Life 

MPhil Paper 1: Production & Reproduction: Anthropology and Economics

MRes/PhD First Year: Ethnographic Methods

Research supervision: 

Alice Pearson

Javier Ruiz

Kevin Yildirim

Xin Zhan

Andrew Sanchez is accepting applications for PhD students.


Associate Professor
HSPS Subject Convenor
Outreach Coordinator for Department of Social Anthropology
Editor, Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
Fellow, Wolfson College
Office hours: appointment by email
Dr Andrew  Sanchez
Takes PhD students