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Department of Social Anthropology


I am an economist (BHons, Universidad del CEMA) and social anthropologist (MSc, University of Edinburgh; PhD, University of Manchester) who, after a 2-year stint as a political and economic consultant in Buenos Aires, Argentina, turned to academia to research ethical, political and economic reasoning around new technologies.


My doctoral and early postdoctoral work was based on my ethnography of Uber’s conflict in Buenos Aires, where I examined the logics, rhetoric and affects of what I called post-political reasoning – a popular, not governmental, orientation towards the foreclosing of the political. This project involved an anthropological examination of the neoclassical economics canon: the moral imperative of choice, the inherent virtue of competition, the perfectly informed citizen-consumer and popular reflections on categories such as efficiency, market price, demand and the like.


Recognised by the Argentine Council of Foreign Affairs, this work has led to several peer-reviewed and mass media publications and public policy recommendations to the Argentine Congress. It received the RAI’s Sutasoma Award for Research of Potential Outstanding Merit and is now the basis for my book manuscript Taxis vs. Uber, forthcoming with Stanford University Press.


Based at the Max Planck Cambridge Centre for Ethics, Economy and Social Change and funded by the Philomathia Foundation, my current project examines how a Buenos Aires’ NGO promotes Blockchain among public and private stakeholders as the fabric of a horizon beyond ethics. Haunted by what they see as the moral deterioration of the public sphere, certain middle class Argentines see in Blockchain’s technical properties, processes and code the means not to flesh out or embody the ethical but to outright foreclose it, and deviations thereof, as a subject of concern.


I will be looking at the following questions: What kind of order could lie beyond the ethical? How would it reproduce and sustain itself? How would economic, moral and political categories like efficiency, transparency, equality and freedom, and longstanding cultural patterns like the public vs. private divide, exist in such an order? How do technological affordances mobilize (post-)ethical imaginations?



Political economy; new materialism; infrastructure; platform economies; algorithms; new technologies; political anthropology; popular politics; economic anthropology; neoliberalism; neoclassical economics; political reasoning; economic reasoning; industrial politics; ethics; Buenos Aires; Argentina; Latin America


Key publications: 


del Nido, J. M. (forthcoming) Taxis vs Uber: Post-Political Reasoning among Argentines. Stanford University Press.


Journal articles

del Nido, J. M. (forthcoming) Ride-Sharing, Convenience and the Rise of Cynical Economies. Economic Anthropology.


del Nido, J. M. 2020. Inscription: Taxi Work Relations, the Ficha and the Political Economy of a Market Device. Anthropology of Work Review. Vol. XLI (1), pp. 50-58.


del Nido, J. M. 2019. Tecnología, Política Pública y Modernidad Periférica: El Conflicto de Uber en Buenos Aires. Hipertextos. Vol. 11(7), pp. 171-198.


del Nido, J. M. (revise and resubmit) Uber and What the People Want: Algorithms, Neoliberalism and Populism as a Political Logic. Anthropological Theory.


del Nido, J. M. (under review - special issue on platform economies) Algorithms, Borders, and the Ethical Affordances of Buenos Aires’ Middle Class: a Political Economy Approach. Ethnos.


del Nido, J. M. (in preparation) Contractualization: Liabilities, Terms and Conditions and the Political Economy of Signatures in Buenos Aires’ taxi trade.


Book reviews and book review essays

del Nido, J.M. (forthcoming). Christin, Angèle. 2020. Metrics at Work: Journalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms. Princeton University Press, 272 pp. $29.95 (Hb), ISBN: 9780691175232. Journal of Cultural Economy.


del Nido, J.M. (forthcoming). Gago, Verónica. 2017. Neoliberalism from Below: Popular Pragmatics and Baroque Economies. Durham: Duke University Press, 277 pp. $26.95 (Pb.), ISBN: 9780822369127. Anthropology Book Forum.


del Nido, J.M. 2018.  Bordering (and) the Political Economies of (Talking about) Risk. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review. Works reviewed: Mahoney, Dillon. 2017. The Art of Connection: Risk, Mobility and the Crafting of Transparency in Coastal Kenya. Oakland, CA: University of California Press; Nail, Thomas. 2016. Theory of the Border. Oxford: Oxford University Press; and Zeiderman, Austin. 2016. Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 


del Nido, J. M. 2017. Goldstein, Daniel M. 2016. Owners of the Sidewalk: Security and Survival in the Informal City. Durham, London: Duke University Press. xiv+ 334 pp. Pb.: $26.95. ISBN: 9780822360452. Anthropological Notebooks XXIII (2): 119-120.


Policy Recommendations

del Nido, J. M. 2020. “From ‘Lives vs. The Economy’ to ‘Lives vs. Lives’: Global South Lessons on Reframing the Lockdown Debate” (policy recommendations wirh respect to the Covid-19 crisis, policy@manchester, available at:


del Nido, J. M. 2019. Tecnología y Modernidad en la Periferia: Uber y el Trabajo Pendiente. El Futuro del Trabajo Que Queremos (Argentine National Congress policy recommendations on the occasion of ILO’s Centennial). Editorial del Congreso, pp: 96-112.


Newspaper articles and general audiences

del Nido, J. M. 2019. Uber: Ongoing Battle for Buenos Aires is Testing Argentina’s Fragile Democracy. The Conversation UK, July 4th, available at


del Nido, J. M. 2014. ‘A Bazaar of Memories: The Gdansk Shipyards’, New Eastern Europe, July-August, N° 3(XII)/2014.


del Nido, J. M. 2013. ‘No Alarguemos la Eternidad’, La Nación, (Argentine national daily), July 29th.



Philomathia Post-Doctoral Research Associate

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