Previously she was Associate Professor in Law and Anthropology at the LSE. Trained as both a social and cultural anthropologist and as a lawyer, Insa works on topics including the democratic crisis and populist movements, processes of inequality, the welfare state and the criminal justice system. She is committed to engaging diverse publics in her research, and combines advocacy work with ethnographic research. Much of her work also has a strong multi-disciplinary angle, and she has worked extensively with lawyers, sociologists, political scientists, geographers and historians.
Insa's book with OUP, published in December 2018, is an ethnography of class, citizenship and punishment in austerity Britain. The book was awarded the 2020 Hart Book Prize for Early Career Academics by the Socio-Legal Studies Association. Her new research, and current monograph project, is on 'modern slavery', its moral-legal ramifications in relation to the illicit economy of so-called county lines and the legacies of Empire in contemporary Britain. She has also been researching social polarisation in the Britain, including with respect to the unequal effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on vulnerable communities.
Insa holds a position as visiting professor at the Anthropology Department at the LSE, and is a member of the LSE Mannheim Centre and a Faculty Associate of the LSE International Inequalities Institute. In 2016, Insa was appointed Academic Fellow at the Honourable Society of Inner Temple. She regularly contributes to public debates on inequality, law, politics, and the social effects of policy making in advocacy circles, on social media and in policy forums.
Anthropology of Britain and Europe; political and legal anthropology; law; political economy; class inequalities; criminal justice; welfare; modern slavery; Empire; post-colonialism; populism; democratic crisis