Trained as a lawyer and anthropologist, Insa specialises in the anthropology of law, politics and the state in Western democracies. As part of her doctoral research at the University of Oxford, she carried out extensive ethnographic work on council estates in England. Her research was funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the German National Academic Foundation and the University of Oxford.
Insa’s dissertation investigates how the residents of a post-industrial council estate experience and contest their dependence upon the state in their interactions with the criminal justice system, the welfare state and electoral politics. She argues that policies in these realms often clash with local expectations of the state and expose the dis-embedding effects of state liberalism from below. Beyond her ethnographic research, Insa is also interested to combine anthropological theory with criminology and legal philosophy.
Insa co-organised and hosted the annual Anthropology of Britain workshop by the Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth (ASA) in 2012. Insa has also taught at various universities, including the LSE, the University of Oxford and Queen Mary University of London. Her teaching expertise covers political and legal anthropology, legal philosophy and general courses in anthropological theory and ethnography.