Personal Details

Name                          Peter Finke
Citizenship                  German
Date of birth                01. October 1963
Place of birth               Köln, Germany


University of Zurich
Department of Social Anthropology
Andreasstr. 15
8050 Zürich
Tel.: +41 – (0)44 – 635 22 33

Current position

Since 2013    Co-Director, Centre for Anthropological Studies on Central Asia
                    (CASCA), Halle-Zurich
Since 2009    Chair, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Zurich
Since 2006    Full Professor for Social Anthropology, University of Zurich


2006   Habilitation, Social Anthropology, University of Leipzig, April 
Title of thesis: „Variations on Uzbek Identity: Concepts, Constraints and Local

May 1999   Ph.D., Social Anthropology, University of Cologne, Germany (grade: “summa cum laude”), 
Title of thesis: “Transformation einer pastoralen Gesellschaft. Ökonomischer und sozialer Wandel bei den Kasachen in der Westmongolei nach dem Ende des Sozialismus”, Supervisor: Prof. Michael J. Casimir

January 1994   M.A., Social Anthropology (major subject), Turcology and Mongolian Studies (Minor subjects), Free University Berlin and Humboldt-University Berlin, 
Title of thesis: "Pastoral Nomadismus bei Kasachen im Westen der Mongolischen Volksrepublik", Supervisor: Prof. Lawrence Krader

Previous positions

2005-2006   Head of Research Group ‘Integration and Conflict in Central Asia, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany

2004-2006   Visiting Assistant Professor at the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

2002-2003   Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire, Department of Anthropology

2001-2002   Lecturer at the University of Leipzig, Department of Social Anthropology, and the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Department of Oriental Studies

2000-2005   Research staff at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany

1997-1999   Lecturer at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn, Department of Central Asian Studies

1995-2000   Lecturer at the University of Cologne, Department of Social Anthropology

Areas of specialization

Substantive areas: economic anthropology, rural development, political economy and social change; post-socialist societies; ethnicity, nationalism and migration studies, norms and ideology, social theory
Geographic areas: Central Asia, Middle East

Field research

Since 1991 Field experience in Central Asia (Mongolia, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan) for a total of 40 months


German      native speaker
English      excellent
Kazak        very good
Turkish       very good
Uzbek        good
Mongolian   good
Russian      advanced
Romansh    beginner

Professional Affiliations

Swiss Association of Social Anthropology (SEG-SSE), President (2012-2014)
German Association of Social Anthropologists (DGV) (Board Member 2005-2007)
Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS) (President in 2009-2010)
European Society for Central Asian Studies (ESCAS) (Board Member 2007-2009)

Editorial Work and Reviews

Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Co-Editor
Central Asian Survey, Member of the International Advisory Board
Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnography SASA, Member of the International Editorial
Berghahn book series 'Integration and Conflict', Member of the Editorial Board
Regular journal reviews for: Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Current Anthropology, American
Anthropologist, Anthropology Today
National Science Foundation (NSF), Member of the Senior Scholar Panel, Section
Cultural Anthropology
Regular reviews for: Swiss National Science Funds (SNFS), Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

List of Publications

In press Variations on Uzbek Identity: Strategic Choices, Cognitive Schemas and Political Constraints in Identification Processes. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books

2004 Nomaden im Transformationsprozess. Kasachen in der post-sozialistischen Mongolei. Münster: Lit-Verlag

2001 (edited with Meltem Sancak) Zwischen Markt- und Mangelwirtschaft. Berichte eines Feldforschungsaufenthaltes im ländlichen Kasachstan und Kirgizstan im Jahre 1999. Almaty: Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung.


Forthcoming Historical Homelands and Transnational Ties: the Case of the Kazak Oralman. Special issue on "Mobility and Identity in Central Asia." Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 138/2

Forthcoming (with Tabea Buri) New Transnational Movements and Relationships: The Case of the Kazaks from Gansu. Special issue of Etnograficheskoe Obozrenie.

2012 (with Meltem Sancak) To be an Uzbek or Not to be a Tajik. Ethnicity and Locality in the Bukhara Oasis. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 13/1:47-70.

2012 Property rights in livestock among pastoralists in western Mongolia: Categories of ownership and categories of control. Günther Schlee & Anatoly Khazanov (eds.), Who Owns the Stock? Collective and Multiple Property Rights in Animals. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books: 159 – 175.

2010 Central Asian Attitudes towards Afghanistan; Perceptions of the Afghan War in Uzbekistan. Robert Canfield & Gabriele Rasuly-Paleczek (eds.) Ethnicity, Authority and Power in Central Asia. New Games Great and Small. Routledge: 61-76.

2007 (with Meltem Sancak) Konstitutsiya buzildi! Gender relations in Kazakstan and Uzbekistan. Russell Zanca & Jeff Sahadeo (eds.), Everyday Life in Central Asia. Bloomington: Indiana University Press: 160-177.

2006 Competing Ideologies of Statehood and Governance in Central Asia: Turkic Dynasties in Transoxania and their Legacy in Contemporary Politics. David Sneath (ed.), States of Mind: Power, Place and the Subject in Inner Asia. Bellingham: Western University Press: 109-128.

2006 On A. Ilkhamov's "Archeology of Uzbek identity". Anthropology and Archeology of Eurasia. 44/4: 75-79.

2005 Ob ‘Arkheologii uzbekskoi identichnosti’ A. Il’khamova. Sergey N. Abashin (ed.) Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2005/1: 60-3.

2005 Contemporary Pastoralism in Central Asia. Gabriele Rasuly-Paleczek, Julia Katschnig (eds.), Central Asia on Display. Proceedings of the VII. Conference of the European Society for Central Asian Studies (Series: Wiener Zentralasien Studien - Vienna Central Asian Studies). Vienna: LIT: 397-410.

2005 (with Meltem Sancak) Migration and Risk-Taking. A Case Study from Kazakstan. Lilian Trager (ed.), Migration and Economy. Global and Local Dynamics. Society for Economic Anthropology Monographs. Walnut Creek (CA): Altamira: 127-161.

2003 Le pastoralisme dans l'ouest de la Mongolie: contraintes, motivations et variations. In: Cahiers d'Asie centrale. Vol. 11-12: 245-265.

2003 Does Privatization mean Commoditization? Market exchange, barter, and giftgiving in post-socialist Mongolia. In: Norbert Dannhaeuser & Cynthia Werner (eds.), Anthropological Perspectives on Economic Development and Integration. Research in Economic Anthropology Vol. 22. Elsevier science: 199-223.

2002 (with Meltem Sancak). Tadjiki. In: Alisher Ilkhamov (ed.), Etnicheskij atlas Uzbekistana. Tashkent: Institut “Otkrytoe Obshchestvo” – Fond sodejstvija. Pp. 195-202.

2002 Wandel sozialer Strukturen im ländlichen Mittelasien. In: Andrea Strasser, Siegfried Haas, Gerhard Mangott & Valeria Heuberger (eds.), Zentralasien und Islam/Central Asia and Islam, Hamburg, Deutsches Orient-Institut: 137-149.

2001 Kasachstan und Kirgizstan im 20. Jahrhundert: Tradition und Wandel. In: Peter Finke & Meltem Sancak (eds.) Zwischen Markt- und Mangelwirtschaft. Berichte eines Feldforschungsaufenthaltes im ländlichen Kasachstan und Kirgizstan im Jahre 1999. Almaty, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung: 10-15.

2001 (mit Meltem Sancak) Nurli: Glanz und Verfall eines sowjetischen Musterbetriebes. In: Peter Finke & Meltem Sancak (eds.) Zwischen Markt-und Mangelwirtschaft. Berichte eines Feldforschungsaufenthaltes im ländlichen Kasachstan und Kirgizstan im Jahre 1999. Almaty, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung: 96-103.

2001 Zwischen Markt und Mangel: Die Neuordnung ökonomischer und sozialer Beziehungen im ländlichen Kasachstan und Kirgizstan. In: Peter Finke & Meltem Sancak (eds.) Zwischen Markt- und Mangelwirtschaft. Berichte eines Feldforschungsaufenthaltes im ländlichen Kasachstan und Kirgizstan im Jahre 1999. Almaty, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung: 104-107.

2000 (mit Sarah Robinson & Bettina Hamann) The impacts of de-collectivisation on Kazak pastoralists. Case studies from Kazakstan, Mongolia, and the People’s Republic of China. In: Journal of Central Asian Studies Vol. IV, No. 2: 2-33.

2000 Changing Property Rights Systems in Western Mongolia: Private Herd Ownership and Communal Land Tenure in Bargaining Perspective. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Working Papers No. 3.

2000 Nomads in a Post-Socialist World: A Case study from Western Mongolia. Anthropology at Thompson learning.

1999 The Kazaks of Western Mongolia. In: Ingvar Svanberg (ed.) Contemporary Kazaks. Cultural and Social Perspectives. London: Curzon: 103-139.

1995 Kazak Pastoralists in Western Mongolia. Economic and Social Change in the Course of Privatization. In: Nomadic Peoples 36/37: 195-216.