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Andrew Christian GILBERT

Spoken languages
English, German
Areas of expertise
  • Humanitarianism
  • Humanitarian action, intervention
  • (Post)socialism
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Europe



PhD, University of Chicago

Andrew Gilbert is a broadly trained sociocultural anthropologist with twenty years research experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His first research project focused on the politics of international intervention, as well as on the relationship between the historical imagination (how people conceive of history) and the political imagination (how people conceive what is politically possible).  More recently, he has investigated the conditions that create openings and closures to political experimentation and social transformation, focusing on a series of worker-initiated protests and their aftermath in the late industrial Bosnian city of Tuzla. This has led to a growing research interest in collaboration and in the political and ethnographic potential of diverse media, such as graphic forms of ethnography.  He has taught at University of Toronto and McMaster University in Canada, including introductory courses on sociocultural anthropology, humanitarianism and human rights, international intervention, political dissent, ethnographic theory and research methods, nationalism, religion, and graphic forms of representation.




  • 2020. International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy: Encounters in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • 2019    "Beyond Nostalgia: Other Historical Emotions."  History and Anthropology. 30(3): 293-312
  • 2018    “Tri vjere, jedna nacija, država Tuzla! Football fans, political protest, and the right to the city in postsocialist Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Soccer and Society. 19(3): 373-399.
  • 2017    “The Limits of Foreign Authority: Publicity and the Political Logic of Ambivalence in Postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Comparative Studies in Society and History. 59(2): 415-445.
  • 2016    “From humanitarianism to humanitarianization: Intimacy, estrangement and international aid in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina” American Ethnologist. 43(4): 717-729.
  • 2006    “The past in parenthesis. (Non)post-socialism in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina” Anthropology Today 22(4): 14-18.

Non-Peer Reviewed Articles, Book Chapters, Commentary

  • 2018    “Worker experiments in humanitarian politics,” Public Anthropologist Journal Blog. 5 October.
  • 2015    “Dayton at twenty: towards new politics in Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. 15(4): 605-610 (with Jasmin Mujanović). Introduction to a special collection of papers edited by Andrew Gilbert and Jasmin Mujanović.
  • 2013    “War and the Politics of Historical Imagination in Bosnia-Herzegovina.” In Srdja Pavlovic and Marko Zivkovic (eds.) Transcending Fratricide: Political Mythologies, Reconciliations, and the Uncertain Future in the former Yugoslavia. Baden-Baden; Nomos Verlag. 165-188.
  • 2012    "Legitimacy Matters: Managing the Democratization Paradox of Foreign State-Building in Bosnia-Herzegovina." Südosteuropa 60, H.4, S. 483-496.
  • 2010    "Invited Commentary on Joao Biehl & Peter Locke “Deleuze and the Anthropology of Becoming.” Current Anthropology. 51(3): 317-351 (341)
  • 2008    “Commentary: Reconsidering Postsocialism from the Margins of Europe: Hope, Time, and Normalcy in post-Yugoslav Societies.” Anthropology News. With Jessica Greenberg, Elissa Helms and Stef Jansen. November.

Select Book Reviews

  • 2018    "Precarious Workers and Political Community in potentia." Somatosphere Book Forum on Larisa Jašarević's Health and Wealth on the Bosnian Market.
  • 2017    Review of Yearnings in the Meantime. ‘Normal Lives’ and the State in a Sarajevo Apartment Complex. By Stef Jansen. American Ethnologist. 44(1):165-6
  • 2016    Review of Bastards of Utopian: Living Radical Politics after Socialism. By Maple Razsa. American Anthropologist. 118(1): 211-212.
  • 2013    Murphy, Alexander, Alex Jeffrey, Andrew Gilbert, Adam Moore, Gerard Toal, and Carl T. Dahlman. "Reading Gerard Toal and Carl T. Dahlman's Bosnia Remade: Ethnic cleansing and its reversal." Political Geography. 36: 12-20.

Further Links