Andrea Muehlebach

Photo of Andrea MuehlebachAndrea Muehlebach, Ph.D. (University of Chicago, 2007)
Associate Professor, Mississauga Campus (UTM)
(905) 569-4581
Office: HSB 392 (Main) and AP 422 (St. George)

Research Keywords: Socio-cultural anthropology and social theory; anthropologies of welfare, state, and citizenship; neoliberalism, austerity, and labor; political ecology; water; anthropology of natural resources and resource management; human-environment relations; political anthropology; anthropologies of law, rights, citizenship and democracy; commons and commoning.

Research Region: Italy, Germany, France

Research Bio:

My research explores the politics and ethics of economic life. My first book, “The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy,” explored neoliberalism’s moral authoritarianism through the privatization of social welfare in Northern Italy.  My second book tracks the politics of water privatization, financialization, and re-municipalization in austerity-era Europe. Here, I ask how new forms of political imagination and environmental citizenship take root as citizens and municipalities have attempted to reclaim ownership over water. This work aims to contribute to an anthropology of resource politics and democratic citizenship at a moment where the interlocking crises of capitalism, democracy, and the environment have become more apparent than ever before. Taken together, my work seeks to grasp the every-day life of processes of neoliberalization and to identify moments ranging from subsumption to refusal.

Cover Image of The Moral Neoliberal by Andrea MuehlebachRecent Publications:


In Progress   “A Vital Politics: The Struggle for Public Water in Europe.”

2012      “The Moral Neoliberal: Welfare and Citizenship in Italy.” The University of Chicago Press.

Special Issue

In Progress;  Editor (with Stavroula Pipyrou) of a special issue entitled “Europe and its Silences.”  Under Review.   Anthropological Quarterly.

2012   Editor (with Nitzan Shoshan) of a special issue entitled “Post-Fordist Affect,” Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 85, #2, Spring 2012.

Recent Articles

Forthcoming     Commonwealth. Contribution to a Special Issue on Wealth, edited by Theodoros Rakoupolous and Knut Rio. Forthcoming in History and Anthropology.

Forthcoming      What is a Life? On Poverty and Race in Humanitarian Italy. In: Messy Europe: Crisis and Whiteness in Postcolonial Europe. Edited by Kristin Loftsdottir, Andrea Smith, and Birgitte Hipfl.

2017   The Price of Austerity Muehlebach Anthropology Today Vol. 33(5): 20-23.

2017    The Body of Solidarity: On Memory and Materiality in Post-Industrial Italy. Comparative Studies in Society and History. January, 2017.

2016      Anthropologies of Austerity. History and Anthropology. Vol. 27, No. 3. DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2016.1167052

2013      The Catholicization of Neoliberalism: On Love and Welfare in Lombardy, Italy. American Anthropologist Vol. 115, No. 3: 452-465.

2013      On Precariousness and the Ethical Imagination: The Year 2012 in Sociocultural Anthropology. American Anthropologist Vol. 115, No. 2:  297-311.

2011    On Affective Labor in Post-Fordist Italy. Cultural Anthropology Vol. 26(1): 59-82.

2009      “Complexio Oppositorum: Notes on the Left in Neoliberal Italy.” Public Culture. Vol. 21(3): 495-515

Reviews, Commentary, and Other Writing

2017 The Irish Water Insurgency: No More Blood From These Stones. Roar Magazine. February 6, 2017.

2016 Building an Archive of Vulnerability: #Guerrilla Archiving at #UofT. PPEH Lab. December 30, 2016.

2016   Time of Monsters. Cultural Anthropology Hot Spots Series “Crisis of Liberalism.”

2016   Camp in the City. Cultural Anthropology Hot Spots Series “Refugees and  the Crisis of Europe.” 

2016 “La lezione dei Gap e il diritto all’acqua.” Comune-info 27 April, 2016. Available at

2016      At the End of Europe. Anthropology News. Available at

2016      How to Kill the Demos. Roar Magazine. January 2016. Available at

2015      Come Si Uccide la Democrazia. Comune Info. December 24, 2015. Available

2014      On Economic Suicide. Anthropology News. July 2014. Available at:

2013      Integration. Invited Commentary in “Field Notes on Affect.” Cultural Anthropology “Fieldsites.” Available at

2013      Labor Disorders in Neoliberal Italy. In: Reviews and Critical Commentary: A Forum for Research and Commentary on Europe. February 1, 2013. Available at

2012      Times of Neoliberalism. Commentary. Etnofoor. Taste. Volume 24(2): 165-169

Interviews & Podcasts

2016      Alternatives to Austerity? A panel discussion at the London School of Economics, June 2016.

2016    “Fighting for Water and Democracy against the Neoliberal Flood.” This is Hell: Manufacturing Dissent since 1996. Click here for interview.

2011   “On Affective Labor in Post-Fordist Italy.” Cultural Anthropology. Vol. 26 (1): 59-82. Click here for author interview.

Graduate Students

Photo of Sardar Saadi
Sardar Saadi
Vivian Solana
Vivian Solana
Sandy Hyun Joo Oh
Sandy Hyun Joo Oh
Giusto, Salvatore reduced
Salvatore Giusto
Photo of Hollis Moore
Hollis Moore
photo of Tessa Bonduelle
Tessa Bonduelle