Balihar Sanghera

E-mail Address:
Office: SOC 280


Balihar---Boston-photoBalihar Sanghera is a visiting scholar and an adjunct Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston University. He is also an Associate Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, UK. His main research interests are political economy and ethics; in particular, he explores how social class and inequalities affect everyday morality and politics, and how moral sentiments, judgements and concerns shape and are shaped by economic and social structures and institutions.

Currently, his research projects focus on the post-Soviet ‘moral economy’, charitable giving in the UK and social justice philanthropy in the UK:

  • Subsistence Claims, Property Rights and Poor Groups: Everyday Politics and Justice in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan (funded by the British Academy, UK).
    Examines how poor groups in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan understand private property rights, focusing on what moral claims ‘land grabbers’, slum dwellers and illegal residents make, and how they are subsequently treated by the state and the judiciary.
  • Social Justice Philanthropy: Implications for Policy and Practice (with Kate Bradley, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, UK)
    Offers a critical account of social justice philanthropy by investigating how a number of charitable foundations pursue social justice and change, focusing on how they make judgments about what and to whom to give, what moral traditions and rules they draw upon in making their decisions, and what they mean by ‘social justice’.
  • The Moral Economy of Charitable Giving: Working and Middle Class Philanthropy in the UK (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, UK)
    Investigates how individuals of working and middle class backgrounds morally frame their donations to unknown others and worthy causes and make judgments about what and to whom to give, and what moral resources, traditions and rules they draw upon in reaching their evaluation about giving.


  • 2012,‘”Am I bothered?”’ Everyday morality and moral concerns and their implications for charitable giving and the Big Society,’ in Philanthropy and a better society, Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy, Alliance Publishing Trust, London, pp.37-44
  • 2012, ‘Attachment, emotions and kinship caregiving: An investigation into family relatedness and support in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstani households,’ Families, Relationships and Societies, 1.3: 379-396 – with Mehrigiul Ablezova and Aisalkyn Botoeva
  • 2012, Illegal settlements and city registration in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan: Implications for legal empowerment, politics and ethnic tensions, Occasional Paper 5, Open Society Foundations, New York – with Elmira Satybaldieva, Adil Rodionov, Sabira Serikzhanova, Nurlan Choibekov and Kunduz Sultanmuratova.
  • 2012: ‘Ethics of Property, Illegal Settlements and the Right to Subsistence,’ International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 32.1/2: 96-114 – with Elmira Satybaldieva.
  • 2011, ‘Everyday morality in families and a critique of social capital: an investigation into moral judgements, responsibilities and sentiments in Kyrgyzstani households,’ Theory and Society, 40.2: 167-190 – with Mehrigiul Ablezova and Aisalkyn Botoeva.
  • 2009, ‘Moral sentiments and economic practices in Kyrgyzstan: the internal embeddedness of a moral economy,’ Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33.5: 921-935 – with Elmira Satybaldieva.
  • 2008, ‘Moral sentiments and professionalism in post-soviet Kyrgyzstan: understanding professional practices and ethics,’ International Sociology, 23.3: 447-467 – with Aibek Ilyasov.
  • 2008, ‘The social embeddedness of professions in Kyrgyzstan: an investigation into professionalism, institutions and emotions,’ Europe-Asia Studies, 60.4: 643-661 – with Aibek Ilyasov.