Department of Organization

Marie Curie Fellow

Room: KIL/14.A-4.98
I am an anthropologist who researches the financial practices of rural entrepreneurs in post-socialist Europe. My research focuses on how debt shapes local markets and how business owners use their social and professional resources to make ends meet despite pervasive arrears and struggles to adapt to the European market. These issues are analyzed in my book, The Art of Getting By in Istrian Winemaking, which I am in the midst of revising.
Building on this, my Marie Curie-funded research project, Tax Evasion for Market Control: Predatory Economies in Practice, investigates how tax practices translate into market power. Mentoring the project is Dr Karen Boll. My work therefore intersects with the literatures of anthropology, political economy, and post-socialist transformation. The project seeks to shed light on the contemporary tax environment for rural family businesses and the tensions and contradictions they must navigate in daily life. I am especially interested in contrasting their experiences against those of large national firms in their sector, and how the latter influence tax policies governing them.


Primary research areas
The anthropology of tax, tax practices
Economic inequality in post-socialist Europe
Economic anthropology
State-business relations, state capture
Curriculum Vitae
Link to this homepage
Selected publications
2020. Contesting the social contract: Tax reform and economic governance in Istria, Croatia. Social Analysis (Special issue: Beyond the social contract: An anthropology of tax) 64(2): 79-100. 
2020. (co-author Nicolette Makovicky). Introduction: Tax beyond the social contract. Social Analysis 64(2): 1-17. 
2022 (forthcoming). ‘Without friends, you don’t exist’: The value of favours in Istrian winemaking. In: Peter Howland (ed.). Wine and the gift: From production to consumption. Routledge (Critical Beverage Studies Series).
2021. An anthropological reflection on urban gardening through the lens of citizenship. In: Kropp, Cordula, Irene Antoni-Komar, and Colin Sage (eds.), Food system transformations: Social movements, local economies, and collaborative networks. Routledge (Critical Food Studies Series), 198-210. ISBN: 9780367674229. 
2018. Solastalgia in Istria, Croatia: Winemaker narratives of landscape and loss. In: Hanna Horáková, Andrea Boscoboinik, and Robin Smith (eds.), Utopia and neoliberalism: Ethnographies of rural spaces. Lit Verlag (Freiburg Studies in Social Anthropology Series), 149-170. ISBN: 9783643803156
Publications sorted by:
Nicolette Makovicky (Editor) ; Robin Smith (Editor) / Beyond the Social Contract : An Anthropology of Tax.
New York : Berghahn Books 2023, 157 p. (Studies In Social Analysis, Vol. 15)
Anthology > peer review
Robin Smith / Contesting the Social Contract : Tax Reform and Economic Governance in Istria, Croatia.
In: Beyond the Social Contract: An Anthropology of Tax. . ed. /Nicolette Makovicky; Robin Smith. New York : Berghahn Books 2023, p. 79-100 (Studies In Social Analysis, Vol. 15)
Book chapter > peer review
Nicolette Makovicky; Robin Smith / Introduction : Tax Beyond the Social Contract.
In: Beyond the Social Contract: An Anthropology of Tax. . ed. /Nicolette Makovicky; Robin Smith. New York : Berghahn Books 2023, p. 1-17 (Studies In Social Analysis, Vol. 15)
Book chapter > peer review
Robin Smith / 'Without Friends, You Don't Exist' : The Value of Favours in Istrian Winemaking.
In: Wine and The Gift: From Production to Consumption. . ed. /Peter Howland. Abingdon : Routledge 2022, p. 108-123 (Routledge Critical Beverage Studies)
Book chapter > peer review
Research Projects
Outside activities

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