Alina-Sandra CUCU

Anthropology of Labour, University of London, United Kingdom

Fellowship : October 2021 to June 2022

Discipline(s) : Anthropology of Labour

Pays : United Kingdom

Research project: Labour regulations and the antinomies of powerlessness in a Romanian car factory

Her research project at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Nantes in 2021-2022 is articulated as analysis from a historical anthropology perspective of three key moments for Romanian labour legislation:

•           The adoption of the Labour Code in 1972

•           The implementation of the Labour Code of 2003

•           Its fundamental modifications in 2011

Her research will combine ethnographic insights, interviews with experts and analyses of the discourses of the national, European and global legal fields. It will be presented in a twofold approach: First, by being a historical investigation of the legislative and institutional changes undergone by economic regulation to understand the progressive weakening of the bargaining power of the labour force in Romania.  Secondly, it will turn the mirror upside down and show the case study of the Craiova car plant, a window into the multiscalar complexities embedded in the metamorphoses of Romanian labour legislation in the last fifty years.



Alina is a labour historical anthropologist. Her work focuses on Central and Eastern Europe. After completing her PhD at the Central European University, she was awarded several prestigious fellowships at Max Planck for the History of Science (Berlin), Centre for Work and the Human Life Cycle in World History, Humboldt University (Berlin), New Europe College (Bucharest) and Goldsmiths, University of London.

Her first book, Planning Labour: Time and the Foundations of Industrial Socialism in Romania, was published in 2019 by Berghahn Books.

She is currently working on her second book project, Entangled Worlds of Labour: The Advance of Flexible Capitalism in Eastern Europe, which examines the incorporation of the Romanian car industry into global product chains since the mid-1960s.