Institute of Social Anthropology

Institute of Social Anthropology

Matthieu Bolay is a social anthropologist and an Ambizione Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation leading a four-year project entitled Arbitraging Extraction (Arbitrex): Arbitral Reasoning in the Legal Topographies of Global Extraction. This ethnographic research examines how investment arbitration knowledge is produced, institutionalised, and circulated, and how arbitration transforms the relations and hierarchies between the normative orders that govern the supply chains of extractive resources.

Before joining the Institute of Social Anthropology in Bern, Matthieu was a postdoctoral researcher at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, investigating emerging forms of corporate governance under the politics of transparency in the extractive industries (2018-2021, more information here). He received his PhD Summa cum Laude from the University of Neuchâtel (2017) where he worked as a research and teaching assistant at the Laboratory for Transnational Studies. While completing his PhD, Matthieu was granted a Doc.Mobility fellowship at the London School of Economics (2015-2016). In parallel to his dissertation on the logics of labour expulsion and incorporation in the production of informal artisanal mining spaces in West-Africa, Matthieu has collaborated in other projects concerned with knowledge production, technology, labour, and mobility in agriculture (iMoMo, funded by SDC) and in international education (Edutrans, funded by SNF).

His research and teaching interests are concerned with knowledge politics, norm making, and valuation practices, and their interplay in the governance of extraction, technology, labour, mobility and migration.