Robin Smith is a Political Economy Fellow of the Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies with Russian and East European Studies and a Fellow at St Antony’s College. She is an anthropologist of post-socialist Europe.
Her interests center on questions of rural debt and economic governance: How do rural businessmen make ends meet in times of protracted economic precarity, and how are post-socialist governments contributing to or mitigating the effects of joining the EU for their citizens? Her research focuses on a community of family farming entrepreneurs in northwest Croatia to understand broader issues affecting southeastern Europeans today. As part of this, she is presently researching the financial practices of agribusinesses.
An outgrowth of researching the financial lives of rural businessmen, she is part of developing a network of anthropologists studying taxation in society, including a journal special issue and a co-edited book volume on the subject.
Robin additionally has a background in both political science and economics, and has worked and researched in Kosovo, the Republic of Moldova, and Bulgaria, but most extensively in Croatia. She earned her doctorate at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford, where she did research for a number of years on the Istrian wine sector. Her research has been supported by the Clarendon Fund, New College Graduate Fund, and American Council of Learned Societies.