Juan M del Nido

Thesis title

Uber and the taxi industry in Buenos Aires: an ethnography of the post-political as a modality of reasoning.

Project description

My thesis examines how Uber’s arrival shaped the constitution of a post-political modality of reasoning among Buenos Aires’ residents in early 2016. I examine labour and economic relations in the taxi industry, the form of taxi transactions and the politics of union life in Argentina; legal geographies, jurisdictions and the construction of a legal case against Uber; and political affects pertaining to stunted teleological projects and understandings of efficacy, efficiency and transparency among citizens, to look beyond developmental, governmental agendas and analysis of top-down approaches to understand how everyday residents understand the political and that which transcends it.

Leaving aside the romance of grassroots resistance, I ask, how can we investigate ordinary people’s desires for the post-political? What processes and relations enable particular constructions of efficacy, objectivity and progress combining technologies, affect and historical trajectories? My research integrates political affects into a political economy approach, exploring how these desires, anxieties and frustrations concretely alter relations of production, reproduction and distribution of services, transactions and representations that shape the political sphere and people’s understandings of it.

Research interests 


  • Economic and political anthropology: populism, post-politics, charisma; commodities and trade, investments, labour, economic reasoning
  • Anthropology of algorithms, statistics and indexes
  • Infrastructure, materiality and new materialism
  • Legal anthropology: contracts, sovereignty, insurance and jurisdictions
  • Anthropology of the Southern Cone, in particular Argentina and Buenos Aires


  • Stef Jansen (1st)
  • Angela Torresan (2nd)



  • 2014-present: PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester
  • 2011-2012: MSc in Social Anthropology (Distinction), University of Edinburgh
  • 2005-2009: BA (Honours) in Economics, Universidad del CEMA, Buenos Aires

Grants and scholarships

  • 2018 Small Academic Expenses Grant, Royal Economic Society (£450)
  • 2014-2017 President’s Doctoral Scholarship, University of Manchester (£ 13,500 p/a)
  • 2015 Fieldwork Fund Grant, University of Manchester (£3,000)
  • 2014 Baltic Social Anthropology Scheme Grant, Economic and Social Research Council in association with the North Western Doctoral Training Centre (£1,150)
  • 2011 Santander Masters Scholarship, Santander Bank (£5,000)

Prizes and merit awards

  • 2018 Arthur Maurice Hocart Prize – Best Graduate Student Essay, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
  • 2018 Elsie Clews Parsons Prize – Best Graduate Student Essay, American Ethnologist
  • 2018 Harold Blakemore Prize – Best Graduate Student Essay, Society for Latin American Studies
  • 2017 Best Graduate Teaching Assistant of the University, school year 2016-2017, University of Manchester

Selected publications

  • del Nido, J. 2018. 'Owners of the Sidewalk: Security and Survival in the Informal City, by Daniel Goldstein, Durham: Duke University Press' (Book Review). Anthropological Notebooks XXIII (2), 119-120.
  • del Nido, J. 2017. ‘Leaving Footprints in the Taiga: Luck, Spirits and Ambivalence among the Siberian Orochen Reindeer Herders and Hunters, by Donatas Brandišauskas, Oxford: Berghahn Books’ (Book Review). Social Anthropology, 25 (3), 406-407.
  • del Nido, J. 2014. 'A Bazaar of Memories: The Gdansk Shipyards', New Eastern Europe, July-August 2014, N° 3 (XII).
  • del Nido, J. 2013. 'No alarguemos la eternidadLa Nación, 29 July.  

Contact details

Email: juanmanuel.delnido@manchester.ac.uk