Hi all, 


Please consider submitting a proposal for our panel below. This is part of the Anthropology and Geography: Dialogues Past, Present and Future conference (London, 4-7 June 2020), organised by the British Academy, the British Museum, the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Royal Geographical Society and SOAS University of London.


All the best,

Tom Baker

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

University of Auckland



Title: Audit, Management Consultancy and the New World Order: The new spaces and subjects of international accountancy


Short Abstract

This panel examines how international management and accountancy firms are reshaping organisations and society and the new spaces and subjects they create. We ask, how are these firms blurring boundaries between the public and private spheres, forging new global relations and defining the future?


Long Abstract

In a world where rapid change and unprecedented disruption are the new normal, we inspire confidence and empower change in all we do’ (KPMG)


Anthropologists and geographers share common concerns with understanding the processes shaping contemporary organisations and society. The Big Four international accountancy firms are key actors in these processes. Over the past decade, these firms have transformed themselves from professional auditors to management consultants working in the interstices between the private sector and the state. Operating in over 150 countries, they claim to help governments and private companies use resources more efficiently, effectively and accountably to address society’s major challenges. From a geographical perspective, these firms are pivotal in remaking economic relationships between the local and the global. From an anthropological perspective, they are creating new audit cultures and subjects of surveillance. From both perspectives they are central to the production of contemporary spaces of capitalism.


These companies promote themselves as experts in addressing major social risks and challenges, but are they becoming the problem rather than the solution? This panel asks:


  • What expertise do these companies offer and how are they changing organisations and working practices?
  • How are these companies blurring the boundaries between the public and private sector and redefining knowledge production?
  • Whose interests do they serve?
  • How important are they in defining the contours of a new world order?


We invite papers that reflect critically, empirically or theoretically on the work of international accountancy and advisory firms and their world-making activities.


Panel Organisers:


Cris Shore, Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths University of London c.shore@gold.ac.uk

Nick Lewis, Human Geography, School of Environment, University of Auckland, n.lewis@auckland.ac.nz

Tom Baker, Human Geography, School of Environment, University of Auckland t.baker@auckland.ac.nz



The Anthropology and Geography: Dialogues Past, Present and Future

conference will be held 4 to 7 June 2020 at the British Museum, Clore

Centre, SOAS, Senate House and Royal Geographical Society.

Please browse the full list of panels and decide where to propose your

paper https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/rai2020#all. All proposals must be

made via the online form that can be found on each panel page.


Proposals should consist of a paper title, a (very) short abstract of <300

characters and an abstract of 250 words.  On submission the proposal, the

proposing author (but not any co-authors listed) will receive automated

email confirming receipt. If you do not receive this email, please first

check the login environment (click login on the left) to see if your

proposal is there.  If it is, it simply means confirmation got spammed or

lost; and if it is not, it means you need re-submit, as process went wrong



A paper can only be submitted once and only one paper can be submitted per



Proposals will be marked as pending until the end of the Call for papers.

Convenors will then be asked to make their decisions over the papers

proposed to their workshop by 20 January 2020 and to communicate those to

the proposers, marking them up within the login environment (Cocoa). Papers

which are neither accepted nor rejected, but marked for 'transfer', will

then be considered by the Conference Committee to see where else they might

fit in the conference programme. There is no guarantee that such papers can

be re-housed. We aim to resolve all transfers by 21 February 2020.


Now browse the full list of panels and propose a paper >>