UCL Anthropology


Ruth Mandel



Tel : +44 (0)20 7679 8646

Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 8632

E-mail: r.mandel@ucl.ac.uk

Room: 234

Vice-Dean International, Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences

PhD, Cultural Anthropology
University of Chicago, 1988


Books published

L'angoisse cosmopolite. La citoyenneté et l'appartenance remises en question par les Turcs d'Allemagne


Presses de l'Université Laval

Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish Challenges to Citizenship and Belonging in Germany

Winner of William A. Douglass Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, of the American Anthropological Association.
Named the Best Book of the Year in Europeanist Anthropology.

Duke University Press
UK Amazon

Markets and Moralities: Ethnographies of Postsocialism
Edited by Ruth Mandel and Caroline Humphrey
Berg Press/NYU Press 2002 Cover: 'Weiche' (Switch) by Neo Rauch.
Rauch's socialist-era images, such as the woman's uniform and the panoptic watch-tower, confront a troubling dystopic uncertainty that encompasses the socialist past as well as the postsocialist present and future

General Interest

Transnational migration, ethnicity and identity Post-socialist societies in transition International development: anthropological critiques Media and international development Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), forced migration Anthropology of Turkey, Greece, Germany

Current Work

Currently I am writing a book based on research about media and development in Kazakhstan. (See  Mandel, R. (2002). A Marshall Plan of the Mind: The Political Economy of Kazakh Soap Opera. Chapter 10 in Ginsburg, F.D., Abu-Lughod, L. and Larkin B. (ed.) Media Worlds: Anthropology of New Terrain. Berkeley: University of California Press, 211-228. )

As part of an international, interdisciplinary research team, I made several research trips to Georgia, studying the situation of IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) from the several Georgia-Russian conflicts over the past two decades. The project was funded by the Human and Social Dynamics Program at the National Science Foundation (Washington, D.C.). Beth Mitchneck (University of Arizona) and Joanna Regulska (Rutgers) were the co-PIs of the project. See website:

I have researched and published about 'co-ethnic migration' of Russian-Germans from the former Soviet Union, to Germany, as well as Russian-Jewish migrants to Germany. This research began as a collaborative project carried out with Michael Stewart and Susan Pattie, entitled Citizenship and Belonging: Local Expression of Political and Economic Restructuring, comparing Hungarian, Armenian and Russian-German Diasporas. It was funded by the ESRC's Transnational Communities Programme. See: www.transcomm.ox.ac.uk/wwwroot/stewart.htm

I served as guest editor for a special edition of Slavic Review, DEVELOPMENT LANDSCAPES: NGOs, FBOs, and Democratization in Russia and Central Asia (Number 2, Summer 2012). This arose from a series of interdisciplinary workshops I convened at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D. C. It is a critical comparison of international development projects and strategies over the past two decades.

Current PhD Students

  • Aykut Öztürk (Expected 2019) Armenian migrants between Istanbul and Yerevan
  • Sabine de Graaf (expected 2020) Refugees in Lesvos, Greece
  • Victoria Tecca (expected 2021) Kurdish refugees in northern France
  • Ioanna Manoussaki-Adamopoulou (expected 2021) Migrants/refugees in Greece
  • Kelsey Weber (expected 2022) Tatar Muslims in Poland

Recently Completed:

  • Stefan Fa Ethnomusicology among Azeris in Kars, Turkey
  • Tess Altman (2019) Volunteerism among refugees and asylum seekers in Australia
  • Costanza Curro (2017) Hospitality among Georgian migrants in London (co-supervised with SSEES)
  • Eray Çaylı (completed 2015) Architectonics of memorialisation in Turkey (co-supervised with Bartlett School of Architecture)
  • Beata Świtek (completed 2013) Indonesian migrant workers in Japan
  • Besim Can Zirh (completed 2012) Turkish Alevi diaspora in Europe
  • Galina Oustinova-Stjepanovic (completed 2011) Sufi Muslims in Macedonia
  • Debbie Soothill (completed 2012, ESRC funded) Chinese migrants in Madrid