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Birgit Müller

Prof. Dr. Birgit Müller

Carson Fellow

Birgit Müller received her PhD from Cambridge University. She is a research director at the IIAC-LAIOS, CNRS/EHESS and a professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Her early research concerned social and environmental movements in Germany and Nicaragua. Since 1990, her research has focused on questions of power, ideology, and economic change in postsocialist Eastern Europe, in particular East Germany and the Czech Republic. She has written about the informal functioning of the planned economy, mechanisms of ideological control under socialism, state-organized privatization of state-owned enterprises, postsocialist labor struggles, grassroots democratization, and environmental mobilizations in postsocialist countries. She published Disenchantment with Market Economics: East Germans and Western Capitalism in 2006. Her current research explores global governmentality of food and agriculture at the FAO, and local practices of food producers in Canada and Nicaragua. She examines links between agricultural practice, political worldviews, and structures of power and how these shape and are shaped by global agricultural policies. Müller coordinates the EASA network for the anthropology of international governance and recently published The Gloss of Harmony: The Politics of Policy Making in the Multilateral Organisations.

RCC Research Project: Seeds, Soils, and Politics: Cultivating Citizenship and Growing Food

Lunchtime Colloquium Video - Glyphosate: A Love Story

Selected Publications:

  • “Fools Gold on the Prairies: Ontology, Farmers, and their Seeds.” In “L’anthropologie et le tournant ontologique,” coordinated by Frédéric Keck, Ursula Regehr, Saskia Walentowitz, special issue, Tsantsa 20 (2015): 61–73.
  • with Gilles Cloiseau. “The Real Dirt on Responsible Agricultural Investments at Rio+20: Multilateralism versus Corporate Self-Regulation.” Law & Society Review 49, no. 1 (2015): 36–67.
  • ed. The Gloss of Harmony: The Politics of Policy-Making in Multilateral Organisations. London: Pluto Press, 2013.
  • “Favores, ayuda y robo: Peasants’ Views of Continuity in Systemic Change in Nicaragua.” Anthropologica 52, no. 2 (2010): 259–72.
  • Disenchantment with Market Economics: East Germans and Western Capitalism. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007.
  • Toward an Alternative Culture of Work: Political Idealism and Economic Practices in West Berlin Collective Enterprises. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1991.