Andrej Grubacic, Professor and Chair of the Anthropology and Social Change MA and PhD at CIIS Andrej Grubačić

Professor and Department Chair
Anthropology and Social Change
School of Consciousness and Transformation (SCT)

PhD, MA, State University of New York, Binghamton

BA, University of Belgrade

Andrej Grubačić is the founding Chair of the Anthropology and Social Change department, incoming editor of the Journal of World-Systems Research, and affiliated faculty at the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, UC Berkeley. 

Following the collapse of Socialist Yugoslavia, Andrej left for the United States. He moved to State University of New York, where he participated in research working groups at the Fernand Braudel Center on anarchist implications of world-systems analysis. In 2008 he moved to San Francisco and worked in the sociology department at the University of San Francisco and urban studies department at the San Francisco Art Institute. His interest in world history and anarchist anthropology has influenced his research perspective which is focused on comparative research of no state democracies and societies without a state on the world-scale. Following Peter Kropotkin and Marcel Mauss, he studies world history as a struggle between institutions of possessive individualism and institutions of mutual aid. His ongoing research on "exilic spaces" in the modern capitalist world system considers how spatial expressions of concentrated mutual aid are produced and reproduced on the outside/inside of capitalist civilization. Exilic spaces and practices refer to liminal and non-state areas relatively autonomous from capitalist valorization and state control. His principal empirical focus is on the autonomous "cracks" peopled by Don Cossacks, Atlantic pirates, Macedonian Roma, Jamaican Maroons, Californian prisoners, Mexican Zapatistas, and autonomous Kurdish communities. This research is included in his UC Press book Living at the Edges of Capitalism: Adventures in Exile and Mutual Aid, co-authored with Denis O'Hearn, the book is a winner of the 2017 American Sociological Association PEWS prize for Distinguished Scholarship. His other research interests include Marxist critique of political economy, historical ethnography, radical oral history, and the history of the Balkan region.

Selected Books and Articles 

Selected Media 

KPFA Against the Grain with Sasha Lilley: The Revolution in Rojava


Societies Against the State: Politics, Theory, Culture (3 Units)

This seminar is meant to explore alternatives to liberal representative democracy. Is politics equivalent to state action? Or can it be found in seemingly unlikely places, such as Kurdish villages, indigenous Mexican assemblies, or Roma settlements? Is democracy an inherently Western concept? Does it refer to a form of governance (a mode of communal self-organization), or a form of government (one particular way of organizing a state apparatus)? Today, when politics is the preserve of statesmen and professors, experts and media mavens, and not the subject of widespread public debate, no-state models of politics are well worth examining—perhaps more than ever before.

Situationism: Everyday Revolutions in the Society of Spectacle (1 unit)

Dada, Surrealism, Situationism. These movements were not simply theoretical interventions, and certainly not examples of “bourgeois art.” They were, and to extent they continue to be, subversive political revolutions that resist cultural museification and ideological mummification. In our class on situationism, we will read the seminal works by and about the situationists, interrupted with the occasional brick-breaking dialectical film feature.


Andrej Grubačić - Varna Institute for Peace Research 

Andrej Grubačić - Beyond Positivism for Rojava University 

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