Dr Insa  Koch

Dr Insa Koch

Assistant Professor of Law

Department of Law

020 7849 4992
Room No
New Academic Building 7.17

About me

Insa Koch joined the Law Department as an Assistant Professor in Law and Anthropology in 2014. Prior to joining the Law Department, Insa trained as both a lawyer and an anthropologist at the LSE, completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford and held a position as a fellow in the LSE Anthropology department. Insa has been the recipient of a number of grants, including from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the German National Academic Foundation and the ESRC. In 2016, Insa was appointed Academic Fellow at Inner Temple. She is also a member of the LSE Mannheim Centre and an affiliate member of the International Inequalities Institute.

Administrative support: Sarah Lee

Research interests

Insa is interested to bring anthropology into dialogue with criminology, legal theory and socio-legal studies. She is currently finishing a monograph on punishment, citizenship and democracy based on extensive ethnographic research on Britain's marginalised council estates. Insa’s next project is concerned with austerity politics and the implications that this has for access to justice. She has recently been awarded an ESRC grant as part of a larger research team led by Professor Deborah James at the LSE. The team’s overall objective is to look at how the withdrawal of public funding from the advice sector is reconfiguring relations between the market, society and the welfare state in the UK and selected European settings. Insa is also working on 

An Ethnography of Advice

, an anthropological study explores how, under conditions of continuing economic crisis, assumptions about the nature of society are being reshaped.

External activities

Insa is interested to disseminate her research amongst a broader audience. To this end, she contributes commentary pieces to internet blogs and she has been invited to give presentations to policy-makers and journalists in her area of expertise. Insa has organised a number of workshops and conferences, including a conference on class and identity politics at the University of Oxford and a workshop on the right to a home at the LSE. She is a member of the American Anthropological Association and the Law and Society Association.



'From welfare to lawfare: Environmental suffering, neighbour disputes and the law in UK social housing'. Critique of Anthropology [FORTHCOMING]

'Political economy comes home: on the moral economies of housing.' Special Issue for Critique of Anthropology (with Alexander, Catherine; and HojerBruun, Maja)  [FORTHCOMING]

'What's in a Vote? Brexit Beyond Culture Wars' American Ethnologist  (2017) 44 (2) pp.225-230

'When politicians fail: zombie democracy and the anthropology of actually existing politics' The Sociological Review  65 (1) 105-120

'Moving beyond punitivism: Punishment, state failure and democracy at the margins' Punishment & Society Vol. 19(2) pp.203-220

'Bread-and-butter politics: Democratic disenchantment and everyday politics on an English council estate' American Ethnologist (April 2016)

'The State Has Replaced the Man’ Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology  73 (2015) pp.84-96

'Everyday Experiences of State Betrayal on an English Council Estate' (2014) Anthropology of this Century 9.

Opinion and comment