SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Dr Benjamin Bowles

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Lecturer in Anthropology

Dr Benjamin Bowles
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Wednesdays 4.00-6.00pm, please see bio for details


Office Hours Term 2

I will be holding my face to face office hours 4pm-6pm on Wednesdays in my room (569), and online meetings by appointment throughout the rest of the week.


  • Bowles, B. O. L. (forthcoming) London’s “Super Sewer”: A case study for the interdisciplinary possibili-ties of anthropologists and economists investigating infrastructure assets together. Research in Economic Anthropology. 41
  • Bowles, B. O. L. (forthcoming). Infrastructure, Resilience and the Neoliberal Citizen. Social Contract Spe-cial Journal Issue. Johansson, M. S. & Burnyeat, G. (Eds.)
  • Bayliss, K., Bowles, B. O. L., Van Waeyenberge. E. (forthcoming). Building Back Better - But Better for Whom? The Mint. 15
  • Bowles, B. O. L. (forthcoming). The linear village? Chasing “community” amongst boat dwellers on the waterways of South East England. In Maritime Spaces – Selected Studies in Maritime Sociology (eds. Kolodziej-Durnas A., Sowa, F., and Grasmeier, M. C)
  • Bowles, B. O. L. (in press). “Can’t Trust”: The Boaters of the waterways of South-East England versus “the charity that makes you homeless.” In Split Waters: Examining Conflicts Related to Water and Their Narration. Cortesi, Luisa & Joy, J. K (eds.) Water Conflict Forum
  • Bowles, B. O. L. (2019). “This squiggly wiggly, not quite democratic thing”: A Deleuzian frame for Boaters' political (dis)organisation on the waterways of London. Anthropological Notebooks. 25 (2): 35-55
  • Bowles, B. O. L., Kaaristo, M. & Rogelja, N. (2019). Dwelling on and with water: Materialities, Mobili-ties and Metaphors. Anthropological Notebooks. 25 (2): 5-12
  • Bowles, B. O. L. (2019). Dwelling, Pollution and the Rhetorical Creation of “Nature” on the Waterways of Southern England. In The Culture of Ships and Maritime Narratives. Papadopolou, Chryssanthi (ed.) London & New York: Routledge
  • Bowles, B.O.L (2018) Known Unknowns: Critical Reflections on Daniel M. Goldstein’s Outlawed: Be-tween Security and Rights in a Bolivian City. Journal of Legal Anthropology. 2 (2): 109-116
  • Bowles, B.O.L (2018). The boaters - myths and legends. The Royal Anthropological Institute Review. Spring: 10-11.
  • Bowles, B.O.L. (2017). Gongoozled: Freedom, Surveillance And The Public/Private Divide On The Wa-terways Of South East England. Etnofoor. 29 (1): 63-79
  • Bowles, B. O. L. (2016). "Time is like a soup": Boat Time and the Temporal Experience of London's Live-aboard Boaters. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology. 34 (1): 100-112
  • Bowles, B. O. L. & Guglielmo, F. (2015). Whose Anthropology is it, Anyway? Anthropology in Action. 22 (3): 1-6
  • Bowles, B. O. L. (2014). Dangerous Waters: Security threats and their role in community formation among itinerant boat-dwellers on the waterways of southern England. Student Anthropologist. 4 (1): 6-17



Major research projects:

  • Research Fellow - SOAS - 2019/2020: Trajectories of Infrastructure Finance
  • Research Fellow - LSE - 2018: Flexible and Reflexive Standards: Constructing Resilient Infrastructure in Uncertainty
  • Research Assistant - LSE - 2015-2017: Global Maritime Investment and Infrastructure. Financing Ports and Projects. Belt and Road Initiative.
  • PhD - Brunel University - 2012-2015: Water Ways: Becoming an Itinerant Boat-Dweller on the Canals and Rivers of South East England

Expertise in:

  • The effects of infrastructure financing regimes on sustainability
  • The governance of infrastructure projects and their assurance for resilience and sustainability
  • Alternative lifestyles and sustainable forms of dwelling
  • Narrowboat travelling communities (Boaters)
  • Global infrastructure financing elites
  • Political and Economic Anthropology
  • The Anthropology of travelling populations within the state
  • The Anthropology of Britain



Van Waeyenberge, Elisa and Bayliss, Kate and Bowles, Benjamin (2022) 'Private equity and the regulation of financialised infrastructure: The case of Macquarie in Britain’s water and energy networks'. New Political Economy. [Forthcoming]

Van Waeyenberge, Elisa and Bowles, Benjamin and Bayliss, Kate (2021) 'London’s “Super Sewer”: A case study for the interdisciplinary possibilities of anthropologists and economists investigating infrastructure together'. Research in Economic Anthropology, (41), pp 5-30.

Monographs and Working Papers

Van Waeyenberge, Elisa and Bayliss, Kate and Bowles, Benjamin (2021) Shapeshifting in UK Infrastructure Finance and the Limits of Regulation. London: ESRC/NIESR Rebuilding Macroeconomics Network Working Paper 61.


This list was last generated on Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 16:47 Europe/London.