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Christina Garsten’s research interests are oriented towards organizational anthropology, with a special focus on globalization processes in corporations and markets. She has done fieldwork in the US, the UK, and Sweden.

Her current research engagement is focused on organizing processes in the market and what role think tanks play in the shaping of global markets, more specifically in the US and Sweden. From a broader perspective, this entails understanding the role that organizations such as think tanks, and the ‘policy intellectuals’ who work there, play in political decision making processes, in the diffusion of knowledge and ideology, and in the fashioning of society.

In previous research, Christina has devoted her attention to organizational culture and its transnational dynamics, and to organizational visions and practices towards enhanced transparency and accountability in transnational trade. She has studied ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR), new forms of voluntary regulation of business, and the perspectives of corporate leaders on responsibility, ethics, and profit. Christina has also done research on policy change in the labour market, such as the emphasis on flexibility, employability, and learning, and what these processes entail in terms of individual subjectivity and identity. A related research route aims at studying forms of sociality in organizations, with particular focus on humour, play, and boredom, and the interplay of managerial control and individual agency.

Christina Garsten is Chair of Score (Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research), which is a centre for multidisciplinary research on the organization of society ( She was previously Director of Score and Research Director at the same centre. Christina is Chair of the Committee for Myrdal Lectures at the Faculty of Social Sciences. She has been Chair of the Swedish Association of Social Anthropologists (SANT), member of the Board of the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond) and the Society for Economic Anthropology. Christina Garsten is member of the editorial committee of the journals Organization, Scandinavian Journal of Management and American Anthropologist. She has been visiting professor at Georgetown University and ESCP Paris, and visiting scholar at London School of Economics, École des Hautes Etudies en Sciences Sociale, Stanford University, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS), Cambridge University, European University Institute, and Leeds University.

Some of her latest publications are: Transparency and legibility in international institutions: The UN Global Compact and post-political global ethics (Social Anthropology, 2011, 19(4): 378-393), Workplace Vagabonds (2008, Palgrave Macmillan), Ethical Dilemmas in Management (ed. with Tor Hernes, 2009, Routledge), Organizing Transnational Accountability (ed. with Magnus Boström, 2008, Edward Elgar Publishing), and Transparency in a New Global Order (2008, ed. with Monica Lindh de Montoya, Edward Elgar Publishing). Christina Garsten defended her Ph.D. in 1994 on the doctoral thesis Apple World: Core and Periphery in a Transnational Organizational Culture (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International. Her thesis was awarded the University Association’s prize for most distinguished thesis 1994).

Garsten Research Projects Eng 2011 (141 Kb) .

Read more about Christina Garsten and the project Global foresight: Anticipatory governance and the making of geo-cultural scenarios.

Selected publications


  • Krause-Jensen, Jakob and Christina Garsten. 2014. Introduction: Neoliberal turns in higher education, Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, 7(3): 1-13. Special issue: Shaping Student Futures, ed. by Krause-Jensen and Garsten.
  • Garsten, Christina and Kerstin Jacobsson. 2013. Sorting people in and out: The plasticity of the categories of employability, work capacity and disability as technologies of government. Ephemera, 13(4): 825-850.
  • Garsten, Christina and Kerstin Jacobsson. 2013. Post-political regulation: Illusory consensus and hybrid forms of governance. Critical Sociology, 39(3):  421-437, published online 22 June 2012.
  • Garsten, Christina and Kerstin Jacobsson. 2011. Transparency and legibility in international institutions: The UN Global Compact and post-political global ethics. Social Anthropology, 19(4): 378-393.
  • Garsten, Christina and Kerstin Jacobsson. 2007. Corporate globalization, civil society and postpolitical regulation: Whither democracy? Development Dialogue, 49:143-158.
  • Garsten, Christina. 2007. Mirrors of organizing: plots, anxieties, and potentialities in the work of Henrik Ibsen. Organization Studies 28(8); 1271 - 1277.


  • Garsten, Christina, Bo Rothstein and Stefan Svallfors. 2015. Makt utan mandat. De policyprofessionella i välfärdssamhället. Stockholm: Dialogos Förlag.
  • Garsten, Christina, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall. 2015. Makeshift Work: The Swedish Model in the Post-Financial Crisis Era. Bastingstoke: Edward Elgar.
  • Garsten, Christina and Anette Nyqvist, eds. 2015. Organisational Anthropology: Doing Ethnography In and Among Complex Organisations. London: Pluto Press.
  • Eriksen Thomas Hylland, Christina Garsten and Shalini Randeria, eds. 2014. Anthropology Now and Next: Diversity, Connections, Confrontations, Reflexivity. London: Berghahn Publishers.
  • Garsten, Christina. 2008. Workplace Vagabonds: Career and Community in Changing Worlds of Work. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Christina Garsten Publications (383 Kb)