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Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit




David Sneath is the Director of the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit at Cambridge University, a Professor of Social Anthropology and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College.

He completed his PhD at Cambridge University in 1991 and carried out postdoctoral research there on environment and society in Inner Asia, winning a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in 1994. In 1998 he took up a Lectureship in Anthropology and Development at Oxford University, and in 2000 returned to Cambridge to take up his current appointments.  He regularly travels to Mongolia for research and has conducted extended pieces of fieldwork with pastoralists. He is a Co-editor of the journal Inner Asiaand has authored more than 20 books and papers on the region. His monographs include Mongolia Remade: Post-socialist National Culture, Political Economy, and Cosmopolitics, 2018, Amsterdam University Press; The Headless State: Aristocratic Orders, Kinship Society, and Representations of Nomadic Inner Asia, 2007, Columbia University Press; and Changing Inner Mongolia: Pastoral Mongolian Society and the Chinese State, 2000, Oxford University Press.


Inner and central Asia; representations of past and present 'nomadic' steppe society; aristocracy and the state; mobile pastoralism; land use and the environment; decollectivisation and post-socialist social transformations; political culture and economic institutions in Inner Asia; the anthropology of development.


MIASU Director
Fellow, Corpus Christi College
Professor of Social Anthropology
Caroline Humphrey Professorship in the Anthropology of Inner Asia

Contact Details

Takes PhD students
Not available for consultancy