Dr Taras Fedirko

  • Lecturer in Organised Crime and Corruption (Central & East European Studies)


I am a political and economic anthropologist and my work explores relations between power, profit, and morality. I have worked on offshore corruption, corporate resistance to regulation, oligarchy, and war, and did extensive ethnographic fieldwork in London and Kyiv.


My current project focuses on political economy of war in Ukraine since 2014; I have a particular interest in the transformative effects of war, e.g. in the new elites and political alliances that emerged from the war in Donbas and are currently leading the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

My earlier work explored middle-class professionals involved in promoting or opposing political liberalism at the core (Britain) and semi-periphery (Ukraine) of global capitalism. Based on fieldwork with elite news journalists in Kyiv, Ukraine between 2017 and 2022, I am writing a book about the transformation of and conflicts within the Ukrainian journalistic profession following the Maidan revolution of 2013-14. Prior to this, for my PhD dissertation, I did an ethnographic study of a department of the British central government, where I analysed how global oil, gas, and mining corporations resist government regulation, and how they seek to manipulate the political arenas in which they encounter government officials and political activists.


I joined the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Glasgow as Lecturer in Organised Crime and Corruption. This is a joint appointment by Sociology and Central & East European Studies. I am also a Fellow at the Centre on Armed Groups (Geneva), and co-edit the political & legal anthropology column of Anthropology News, the online magazine of the American Anthropological Association. 

Before coming to the University of Glasgow, I was British Academy Research Fellow in social anthropology at the University of St Andrews (2021-22), and Reseach Associate in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge (2017-2020). I hold a PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Durham University, but was originally trained in geography (BSc, Ivan Franko Lviv National University) and East European studies (MA, University of Bologna).

Research interests

political economy of war; media; oligarchy and corruption; state building; historical sociology; social anthropology; Ukraine.


List by: Type | Date


  • 2022 ESRC IAA University of Glasgow. ’Actors and networks in the political economy of war in Ukraine’. With H. Aliyev.
  • 2020 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, grant no. PF20@094.


I am intersted in supervising students planning to work in at least one the following broad areas.  

  • Thematic/disciplinary areas: political economy of conflict, violence, crime, and corruption; political and economic anthropology; anthropology of media.
  • Geographic areas: Ukraine and the broader postsocialist region.
  • Methodological areas: qualitative methods, in particular ethnography, work with archival sources (court records and other investigative material); mixed-methods approaches.

If your work does not fit in the above but you have an interesting project and think we could work together, get in touch nonetheless.


2022/23: CEES5085 Crime and Corruption in the Former Soviet Union

Professional activities & recognition

Research fellowships

  • 2021 - 2022: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship

Editorial boards

  • 2023: Anthropology News, Association for Political and Legal Anthropology section

Professional & learned societies

  • 2023: Section editor, board member, Association for Political and Legal Anthropology, American Anthropological Association