Department of Management, Society and Communication

  • Centre for Sustainability
  • Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS)
Assistant professor

Room: DH.Ø.2.16
E-mail: hel.msc@cbs.dk
Hannah Elliott

As a political and economic anthropologist, I am concerned with tracing the often uneven and contradictory effects of development and sustainability initiatives, as well as with using insights from ethnographic research to rethink what development and sustainability might mean.

I have carried out much of my research in Kenya, investigating the temporal politics of large-scale infrastructure projects; land reform and the privatization of customary land; the production, labour and trade of ‘sustainable’ commodities; economies of migration and displacement; and financial inclusion initiatives. My current research project, funded by the Danida Fellowship Fund and carried out in collaboration with colleagues from CBS, University of Nairobi and the Institute for Legal and Environmental Governance – Kenya, examines environmental maritime governance in Kenya in the context of international efforts to abate greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.

I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Anthropology from the University of Manchester and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London) and a PhD in African Studies from the University of Copenhagen.

Primary research areas
  • Politics of sustainability
  • Market-driven development
  • Labour and livelihoods
  • Property rights and relations
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At CBS, I have taught bachelor’s and master’s students in social and cultural theory, ethnographic research methods and critical approaches to circular economy, corporate sustainability and CSR


I am interested in supervising Bachelor and Master projects examining the politics of sustainability / sustainable development; corporate sustainability; and CSR / corporate ethics.

Publications sorted by:
Neil Carrier; Hannah Elliott / Trust as Social Infrastructure in Somali Trading Networks
In: Trade Makes States: Governing the Greater Somali Economy. . ed. /Tobias Hagmann; Finn Stepputat. London : Hurst Publishers 2023, p. 35-55 (African Arguments)
Book chapter > peer review
Hannah Elliott / Acting on Uncertainty : Property Making as Temporal Agency Amid the Rush for Land in Northern Kenya.
Paper presented at 17th EASA Biennial Conference 2022, 2022, p. 4
Paper > peer review
Hannah Elliott / Durable Conversions : Property, Aspiration, and Inequality in Urban Northern Kenya.
In: Economic Anthropology, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1.2022, p. 112-124
Journal article > peer review
Hannah Elliott; Peter Lockwood / Timing Property : Speculation Amidst Scarcity in Property Accumulation and Investment.
Abstract from 17th EASA Biennial Conference 2022, 2022, p. 1
Conference abstract for conference > peer review
Hannah Elliott / What Should a Job Look Like?
In: People before Markets: An Alternative Casebok. . ed. /Daniel Scott Souleles; Johan Gersel; Morten Sørensen Thaning. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press 2022, p. 383-407
Book chapter > peer review
Hannah Elliott / Book Review: Roses from Kenya
In: Exertions: Society for the Anthropology of Work, 20.9.2021
Book review
Hannah Elliott; Martin Skrydstrup / The True Price of Quality : On the Infrastructures of Tea in Postcolonial Kenya.
In: Commodity Frontiers, Vol. 2, 2021, p. 16-23
Journal article > peer review
Matthew Archer; Hannah Elliott / ‘It’s Up to the Market to Decide’ : Revealing and Concealing Power in the Sustainable Tea Supply Chain .
In: Critique of Anthropology, Vol. 41, No. 3, 9.2021, p. 227-246
Journal article > peer review
Hannah Elliott / Ives, Sarah: Steeped in Heritage: The Racial Politics of South African Rooibos Tea
In: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2020, p. 202-203
Book review
Hannah Elliott / Town Making at the Gateway to Kenya's "New Frontier"
In: Land, Investment and Politics: Reconfiguring Eastern Africa's Pastoral Drylands. . ed. /Jeremy Lind; Doris Okenwa; Ian Scoones. Woodbridge : James Currey 2020, p. 43-54
Book chapter > peer review
More results... (total 20 results)