Russell Henshaw

russell henshaw



DPhil Student

Wolfson College

Thesis: Austerity and the Social Economy in Greece

After 2010, a solidarity movement spread across Greece in the wake of the sovereign debt crisis and the subsequent austerity measures/recession this provoked. My research among volunteers in the movement dwells on the tensions which arise as the relationship between state, community and individual is transformed through voluntary action. Based on 18 months of volunteering in a community solidarity group in Athens, it examines the kind of authority brought about through acts of giving and the contradictions volunteers face in pursing ideals of solidarity. Compelled to oppose bureaucratic practices by the principles of the movement, in practice volunteers’ efforts come to closely resemble them, just as their attempts to address inequalities engender new dependencies and indifferences. In this moral space, new boundaries of inclusion and exclusion emerge, premised upon the act of volunteering and the arbitration of deservingness this entails.


Solidarity, voluntarism, post-work, economics, austerity, social movements, Greece, finance, money, debt, morality.

Previous Education:

BA Archaeology and Anthropology – University of Oxford – 1st
MA Anthropological Research – University of Manchester – Merit
Diploma of Higher Education Economics – Open University – Distinction


ESRC-Wolfson DTC Studentship


2017. Complications and contradictions: volunteering in Athens. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford Online, New Series, Volume IX, 3: 403-410


2017. Austerity and Solidarity: Volunteering as Double Movement in Greece. At: The Great Transformation and Contemporary Crises, 14th International Karl Polanyi Conference. Karl Polanyi Institute Asia. Seoul, South Korea.

2017. Complications and Contradictions: volunteering in Athens. At: The 8th Biennial Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium on Contemporary Greece and Cyprus. The London School of Economics. London, UK.

2015. Making Sense of Crisis: debts and discourses. At: The Society of Modern Greek Studies Annual Graduate Research Colloquium. Kings College London. London, UK.

2015. Reform in Crisis: austerity and the social economy in Greece. At: The 7th Biennial Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium on Contemporary Greece and Cyprus. The London School of Economics. London, UK.