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Biography

Anastasia Piliavsky is a social anthropologist, who works on India’s democracy and the role of vernacular values, especially the hierarchical, in India’s social and political life. She is author of Nobody's People: Hierarchy as hope in a society of thieves (Stanford 2020), editor of Patronage as politics in South Asia and Principal Investigator of a European Council-funded project on 'India's politics in its vernaculars'. 

Research

Anastasia works on India’s vernacular norms of personhood and relatedness, and the ways in which these orient India’s democratic process. She is especially interested in how hierarchical values – idioms of kingship, patronage and divinity – shape Indian conceptions of political representation and responsibility, and the bigger demotic visions of social and political good. She is working on showing the implications of this work for comparative democratic theory.

Research Interests

  • Political language & concepts
  • Democratic theory
  • Hierarchy & egalitarianism
  • Democratic representation
  • Political responsibility
  • Values & sociality
  • Personhood & relatedness
  • 'Criminal tribes'
  • Kingship
  • Political anthropology
  • History of anthropology

Teaching

Postgraduate

PhD supervision

Anastasia welcomes applicants who wish to work ethnographically on all aspects of India’s politics, especially those interested in analysing conceptions of representation and responsibility in India's democratic process.

Current and former students:

  • Ankita Banerjee
  • Silvia Tieri
  • Sagar Solanki

Further details

See Anastasia's research profile