Anthropology and Sociology of Development

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology of Development (ANSO) offers cutting edge research and teaching in both disciplines on contemporary actors, institutions, processes and dynamics of transnationalization and localization. Critical of totalising views of globalisation and development, ANSO bridges the conventional North-South divide, and the worlds of academia and policy.

Research and teaching at the Department is premised on the understanding that problems affecting various regions yet experienced differently by men and women in different locations across the world can be productively examined by way of empirically sound and theoretically sophisticated comparative scholarship. Be it in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, as well as Europe, North and South America, our research is primarily geared towards the ethnographic analysis of social, political, economic, legal and cultural phenomena in the following domains:

  • governance and the state; international organisations; law and policy;
  • borders and displacement; migration and minorities;
  • global security and everyday insecurity;
  • bio-medicine and bio-technologies; reproductive health, and gender relations;
  • markets, land, labour and corporations;
  • urban studies; agriculture and food security
  • violence, conflict and social movements.


Latest News


Meeting UN anthropologists and sociologists

event_generic_img2.jpgOn Tuesday 18 March 2014,students and faculty of the ANSO department met with UN anthropologists and sociologists to discuss what role the disciplines have played in their professional carreers. You can find the audio recording of the session here.

Moderated by Alex Mundt, PhD student ANSO and Senior Donor Relations Officer (USA and Canada) at UNHCR in Geneva, the meeting included

  • Jyoti Sanghera, Section Chief, Human Rights and Social and Economic Issues at OHCHR,
  • Alanna Armitage, Director UNFPA Office in Geneva
  • Guido Ambroso, Senior Officer at UNHCR
  • Claire Somerville, applied Medical Anthropologist and Visiting Lecturer at the Graduate Institute
  • Antonio Donini, research associate at the Global Migration Centre and senior researcher at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University


Important: Course offer and credits academic year 2013-14

There may be some fluctuations in the number of mandatory and elective courses offered by the ANSO Department
 from one academic year to another. The total number of credits that students must obtain for a MA or PHD, however, remains unchanged:
120 credits for MA (90 credits for courses and 30 credits for dissertation; 54 credits for PhD (24 credits for courses and 30 credits for Preliminary Thesis Dissertation)

For MA Students: 
Once the mandatory classes (6 courses for 36 credits) have been completed, the remaining credits can be obtained by a mixture of:
- Elective classes offered by ANSO (5-7 courses, 30-42 credits) ;
- AND complementary classes offered by other departments (2-4 courses, 12-24 credits);
OR, if necessary, 1 or 2 "hors plan" classes which should be approved by the director of studies and should not exceed the regulatory limit of 12 credits (to be deduced from the total of required credits for elective or complementary classes).
Students are encouraged to take at least 
5 classes from among the electives offered by ANSO every year so as to maintain a strong disciplinary focus but also to take advantage of the unique interdisciplinary offer at the Institute by choosing several elective classes outside the Department as well.