Dr Matt Wilde

Lecturer in Human Geography

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I am an urban ethnographer specialising in research on urban social movements, political economy, morality and the state. I received my PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2013 and held teaching and research positions with the Institute of Latin American Studies, the University of Sussex and the LSE before joining Leicester in 2018.


I have carried out fieldwork in Venezuela since 2008 and the UK since 2015. In Venezuela, my work explores the relationship between the petrostate, grassroots politics and the moral life of a community amid a period of rapid and contradictory social change. In the UK, I focus on the politics of housing, militant care and austerity governance in contemporary London. My research aims to offer new insights to the study of urban life by linking ethnographic explorations of social movements, the state and political economy to areas such as kinship, popular religion and everyday ethics and morality. To date my work has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Society for Latin American Studies and the Camel Trust.


Journal articles

Wilde, M (2020) Eviction, gatekeeping and militant care: moral economies of housing in austerity London. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology.

Wilde, M (2019) Resisting the rentier city: grassroots housing activism and renter subjectivity in post-crisis London. Radical Housing Journal 1(2): 63-80.

Wilde, M (2018) ‘To Fill Yourself with Goodness’: Revolutionary Self-Making in Bolivarian Venezuela. Bulletin of Latin American Research 37(2).

Wilde, M (2017) Embryonic alternatives amid London's housing crisis. Anthropology Today, 33(5): 16-19.

Wilde, M (2017) Utopian disjunctures: popular democracy and the communal state in urban Venezuela. Critique of Anthropology, 37(1): 47-66.

Wilde, M (2017) Contested Spaces: Participatory Democracy and the Communal Councils in Chávez's Venezuela. Latin American Perspectives, 212, 44(1): 140-158.


Wilde, M (2017) Why Theresa’s May pledges won’t fix the UK’s housing disaster. The Guardian.

Wilde, M (2017) Populism, Right and Left. Public Books.

Wilde, M(2016) Our immoral housing policy is set up to punish the poor. The Guardian.

Wilde, M (2015) Participation and Polarization After Chávez. Cultural Anthropology.

Wilde, M (2011) On the Riots and the Need for a New Commons. Counterpunch.


Wilde, M (2019) Channeling the State: Community Media and Popular Politics in Venezuela, by Naomi Schiller. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Wilde, M (2017) We Are The State! Barrio Activism in Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, by Cristobal Valencia Ramirez. Bulletin of Latin American Research 36(2): 256-257.

Wilde, M (2014) Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First Century Socialism, by Roger Burbach, Michael Fox and Federico Fuentes. Bulletin of Latin American Research 34(1): 131-133.

Wilde, M (2014) Chávez’s Children: Ideology, Education, and Society in Latin America, by Manuel Anselmi. Journal of Latin American Studies, No. 46, 622-624.

Wilde, M (2011) Who Can Stop The Drums? Urban Social Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela, by Sujatha Fernandes. Alborada: Latin America Uncovered.


  • GY1422 Introduction to Leicester Geographies
  • GY2412 Economy, Society and Space
  • GY2415 Overseas Field Course
  • GY2416 Space, Territory and Power
  • GY3412 Cities of the Global South
  • GY7412 Critical and Creative Geographies


I'm interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas:

  • Urban politics, activism and social movements
  • Informality and inequality in contemporary cities
  • The state and political economy
  • Ethnographic approaches to ethics and morality
  • Europe, Latin America and the UK

Enquiries: If you are interested in studying for a PhD in one of these research areas, please make informal enquiries via pgrgeog@le.ac.uk.

Find out more information about Geography PhDs including more research areas, how to apply, funding and entry requirements.

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