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Dr Felix Stein

Dr Felix Stein

Affiliated Lecturer, Department of Social Anthropology


MPhil Development Studies, University of Oxford
MPhil Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
PhD Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge



Subject groups/Research projects

Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology:

Research Interests

I specialise in economic and development anthropology, in particular audit, capitalism, commodification, corporate forms, global health, labour and time. My focus lies with Europe (esp. Germany & the UK) and Latin America (esp. Haiti).

For my PhD in Anthropology at the University of Cambridge I studied the work of German management consultants. My book on this topic, was published by Bloomsbury in 2017 as part of the LSE Monographs in Social Anthropology series. It won the 2015 APLA student paper prize and the LSE Monographs Bloomsbury First Book Competition.

During a year of postdoctoral research at Cambridge, I studied the impact of UK anthropology on wider society.

Now at the University of Edinburgh I work on the Global Health Governance Programme, as part of which I carry out an ethnographic study of the World Bank's role in health in Haiti.


Key Publications


Stein, F. (2017) Work, sleep, repeat. The Abstract Labour of German Management Consultants. London School of Economics Monographs on Social Anthropology. Bloomsbury: London. [Winner of the 2016 LSE Award for Best New Book in Anthropology]

Stein F. et al. (eds.) (2017) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology. on-line at:


Peer reviewed articles & book chapters

Stein F & D. Sridhar (forthcoming) ‘Back to the Future: The World Bank’s Human Capital Index’. British Medical Journal.

Stein F (forthcoming). ‘Blinded by the slide: Ignorance and the commodification of services’. Critique of Anthropology.

Stein F. 2019. 'Research directions on states and markets'. In Research Agenda in Economic Anthropology (ed) J. Carrier: 25-39. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK.

Stein, F. 2018. 'Selling speed - management consultants, acceleration and temporal angst'. PolAR - The Political and Legal Anthropology Review. 40(S1): 103-1017. [Winner of the 2015 Association for Political and legal Anthropology (APLA) Award for Best Student Paper]

Stein, F. & D. Sridhar. 2018. 'The financialisation of global health'. Wellcome Open Research 3(17): 1-4.

Stein, F. 2018 'Boundary work – power and liminality in management consulting'. In New Directions in Elite Studies. (eds) Korsnes Olaf, Johan Heilbron, Felix Bühlmann and Mike Savage: 280-296. Routledge: London.

Stein, F. 2017. 'Anthropology’s “impact” – a comment on audit and the unmeasurable nature of critique'. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 24(1): 10-29.

Stein, F. & D. Sridhar 2017 'Health as ‘global public good’: Creating a market for pandemic risk?'. The British Medical Journal.358: j3397.

Eriksen, T. H. and F. Stein 2017 'Anthropology as counter-culture: an interview with Thomas Hylland Eriksen.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 23(1): 233-238.

Stein, F. 2016 '"Anthropology needs to go mainstream" - An interview with Gillian Tett'. Anthropology Today 32(6): 27-29.

Helfrich, S. and F. Stein 2011 'Was sind Gemeingüter? [What are common goods?]'. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte 61: 9-15.


Book reviews

Stein, F. (2019). ‘Neoliberalism from Below: Popular Pragmatics and Baroque Economies. Verónica Gago. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017, 288 pp., $25.95, paper. ISBN 978-0-8223-6912-7.’ Journal of Anthropological Research.

Stein, F. 2017 'Stephen Gudeman, Anthropology and Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 233, 2016.’. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology 35(1): 147-148.

Stein, F. 2016 'James, Deborah. 2015. Money from nothing. Indebtedness and aspiration in South Africa. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 304pp. Pb.: US$25.95. ISBN: 9780804792677.’ Social Anthropology 24(1): 123-124.


Selected public writing & outreach

BBC Radio 4. Interview excerpts used for “The Age of Consultancy” 02/09/2019 by Richard Brooks.

Stein, F. 2018 ‘Editing Wikipedia as part of teaching public health?.’

Stein, F. 2018 'UK universities under siege'. Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Review:

Stein, F. 2018 ‘Human Capital and Global Health’.

Stark, F. 2018 'Die Welt ist nie so profitabel wie sie sein könnte [The world is never as profitable as it could be]'. Tonic: Das Magazin für *.

Stein, F. 2017 ‘The World Bank’s new pandemic insurance: A wise use of donor money?’

Stein, F. 2017 'So, what is the World Bank's business model?'.

Stein, F. 2017 'On the equal validity of methods in Global Health research'.

Stein, F. 2017 '“Post-truth” and the social sciences'.

Stein, F. 2016 'Anthropology, Brexit and Xenophobia in Europe'. Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Review: (reprint in Allegralab).