Professor Cris Shore

Staff details

Position Professor of Social Anthropology and Head of Department
Department Anthropology
Email c.shore (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7811
Professor Cris Shore

Cris came to Goldsmiths in January 2019 to continue his research on Europe, ‘audit culture, universities in the global knowledge economy, and anthropological approaches to the study of policy.

Prior to moving to Britain he was professor of anthropology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand (2003-2018) and founding Director of the Europe Institute (2006-8). Between 2018 and 2019 he was Guest Professor in Public Management at the Stockholm Centre for Organisational Research where he researched management and leadership in public organisations.

Cris studied anthropology at Sussex University where he wrote a PhD thesis on the Italian Communist Party and Eurocommunism. He has conducted fieldwork in Italy, Belgium (on EU civil servants and the cultural politics of European integration), Britain and New Zealand (on politics, university reform, and the global knowledge economy). His work spans several fields including EU institutions and policies, the state, nationalism, elites, corruption, higher education, the rise of ‘audit culture’ and the anthropology of policy. He was founding editor of the journal Anthropology in Action and a founding member and Co-President of the Association for the Anthropology of Policy (ASAP), a Section of the American Anthropological Association (2016-18). With Susan Wright, he co-edits the Stanford University Press book series Anthropology of Policy.

Cris Shore’s work engages with issues in political anthropology, European ethnography and the study of organisations, particularly the governance and management of universities. His main research interests include power, ideology, the effects of systems of measurement and ranking on individuals and organisations, corruption, and the anthropology of policy.

In the media – Podcasts and videos

‘A Conspiracy of Illusion’? Performance-Based Metrics, New Public Management and the Politics of Accountability’ The 2018 Score Lecture on Organisation, 6 December 2018.

‘The Academy and Freedom to Dissent’

Interview with David Boarder Giles, Deakin University

Interview with Gerhardt Hoffstaedter and Fern Thompsett (UNSW) “World 101X” series

Academic Capitalism, Lecture for UoA.

Cris currently teaches ‘Ethnography of a Selected Region: Europe’

Research Interests

Cris’s research covers a range of issues of theoretical and public policy interest including the European Union, the State, elites, corruption, ‘audit culture’ and higher education reform. He is currently engaged with four projects:

University futures and the global knowledge economy
Between 2010 – 2017 he was part of two EU funded international researcher exchange projects that explored university reform and globalisation, New Public Management, and universities in the global knowledge economy. He has continued this work and is currently researching the effects of indicators, rankings and New Public Management on the performance and subjectivity of academics.

Audit Culture: Indicators, Rankings and the New Word Order
Since 1999, he and Susan Wright (Aarhus University) have been studying the impact and effects of the introduction of new systems of measurement and management on organisations and society. He is current working completng book (with Susan Wright) entitled, Audit Culture: How Rankings, Indicators and Numbers Re-order the World, (Pluto Press).

Anthropology of Europe and the politics of austerity
In 1995, he embarked on an ESRC-funded ethnographic study of EU cultural policies, European integration and the EU civil service in Brussels. He continued this with research on EU diplomacy and European citizenship. He has continued his research on EU policies and institutions, most recently with a study of austerity in the Eurozone.

Anthropology of the state and constitutional reform
In 2014 he was awarded a major Royal Society of New Zealand ‘Marsden Fund’ award to carry out a three year study of ‘The Crown’ as an institution of government in postcolonial New Zealand and other Commonwealth countries. His most recent book (with David Williams) is The Shapeshifting Crown: Locating the State in Post-Colonial New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Areas of supervision

Cris welcomes potential PhD students with interests in Europe, policy, corruption, universities or the anthropology of organisations.