Anthony Pickles


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Economic anthropology, Oceania, gambling, political anthropology, anthropology of the future, anthropology of finance, anthropology of elites


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Locations: Oceania (the Western Pacific), Papua New Guinea, the UK, online ethnography.

Topics: cash/money, cash transfers, corruption, socio-cultural escalations, ethnomathematics, experimental ethnographic methods, gambling, gifts, history of anthropology, informal economy, intra- and extra- family transfers, markets, pocket-use, sports, social change, technological adoption, the theory of economic transfers, new technologies, forecasting, prediction. 


I am a political and economic anthropologist working on capitalism, economic innovation, risk, colonisation, development and globalisation through its local collisions. I focus on economic life as experienced by people on the ground, most notably on gambling activity as a crucible for examining wider experiences of socio-economic and political rupture.

I am currently conducting research into political gambling and prediction markets, as a global phenomena at the cutting edge of shaping contemporary political understanding.

My ethnographic fieldwork in urban and rural Papua New Guinea began in 2009 during my PhD (University of St Andrews, 2013). I joined the University of Birmingham as Assistant Professor in Social Anthropology in 2023. In the interim I held research fellowships, one from Trinity College, Cambridge and then one from The British Academy (held in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge). Then I taught social anthropology and international development at the University of East Anglia, 


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, PhD (University of St Andrews), MRes (University College London), BSc (University College London)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Social Science, The Pattern Changes Changes : Gambling Value in Highland Papua New Guinea, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 21 Jun 2013

External positions

Conference Officer, Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth

1 Jan 2022 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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