Professor Cris Shore

Staff details

Professor Cris Shore


Professor of Social Anthropology




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Political anthropology; Europe; Corruption; Organisations; Higher Education; Anthropology of Policy; Audit culture.

Cris joined Goldsmiths in January 2019. This was something of a return for him as he had previously worked in the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths from 1990 to 2002. Prior to returning to the UK he worked for 15 years at the University of Auckland in New Zealand where he was Head of Department and founding Director of the Europe Institute. In 2018 he moved to Sweden to take up a one-year post as Guest Professor in Public Management at the Stockholm Centre for Organisational Research (SCORE) where he researched management and leadership in public organisations.

Teaching and supervision

Political anthropology, European societies, anthropology of organisations and policy, critical studies of management & governance, higher education, corruption, 'audit culture'. New Zealand, Britain.

Cris convenes a 2nd year undergraduate module called 'Ethnography of a Selected Region: Europe' and an MA module called Anthropological Research Metho

Research interests

Cris studied anthropology at Sussex University. His PhD thesis was a study of 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 is co-editor of the Stanford University Press book series Anthropology of Policy.

Cris'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. His 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.

Publications and research outputs


Shore, Cris. 2021. Audit failure and corporate corruption: Why Mediterranean patron-client relations are relevant for understanding the work of international accountancy firms. Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, 2021(90), pp. 91-105. ISSN 0920-1297

Lewis, Nick and Shore, Cris. 2019. From unbundling to market making: reimagining, reassembling and reinventing the public university. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 17(1), pp. 11-27. ISSN 1476-7724

Shore, Cris and Wright, Susan. 2018. How the Big 4 got big: Audit culture and the metamorphosis of international accountancy firms. Critique of Anthropology, 38(3), pp. 303-324. ISSN 0308-275X

Book Section

Shore, Cris and Wright, Susan. 2021. The Kafkaesque Pursuit of ‘World Class’: Audit Culture and the Reputational Arms Race in Academia. In: Sharon Rider; Michael A. Peters; Mats Hyvönen and Tina Besley, eds. World Class Universities: A Contested Concept. Singapore: Springer, pp. 59-76. ISBN 9789811575976

Shore, Cris. 2020. Symbiotic or Parasitic? Universities, Academic Capitalism and the Global Knowledge Economy. In: Emma Heffernan; Fiona Murphy and Jonathan Skinner, eds. Collaborations: Anthropology in a Neoliberal Age. London: Routledge, pp. 23-44. ISBN 9781350002265

Shore, Cris and Wright, Susan. 2018. Performance Management and the Audited Self: Quantified Personhood Beyond Neoliberal Governmentality. In: Btihaj Ajana, ed. Metric Culture: Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices. London: Emerald Publishing, pp. 11-36. ISBN 9781787432901

Edited Book

Shore, Cris; Raudon, Sally and Williams, David V., eds. 2020. The Crown and Constitutional Reform. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 9780367511647

Shore, Cris and Williams, David V., eds. 2019. The Shapeshifting Crown: Locating the State in Postcolonial New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108496469

Shore, Cris and Wright, Susan, eds. 2017. Death of the Public University? Uncertain Futures for Higher Education in the Knowledge Economy. Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-78533-542-6

Professional projects

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).

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.

Conferences and talks

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

2017: Academic Capitalism, Lecture for UoA