Dr Matt Wilde

Lecturer in Human Geography

School/Department: Geography, Geology & The Environment, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3315



Matt trained in anthropology and received his PhD from the London School of Economics in 2013. Prior to taking up a permanent role at Leicester in 2018, he held research and teaching positions with the Institute of Latin American Studies, the University of Sussex and the LSE. Matt has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Venezuela since 2008 and the UK since 2015. His work has appeared in a range of scholarly publications including Anthropology Today, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Critique of Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnos, Latin American Perspectives and the Radical Housing Journal. Beyond his academic work, Matt has written op-ed pieces for Counterpunch, The Guardian and Public Books.


Matt is an ethnographer whose works sits at the interface between political and economic anthropology and critical geography. He is interested, above all, in how everyday political and moral ideas relate to macro-level social and economic forces.

To date, Matt's research has encompassed themes such as popular politics and democracy, energy and natural resources, ethics/morality and ethnographies of the state. In Venezuela, his research explores the relationship between the petro-state, grassroots politics and everyday moral life during a period of rapid and contradictory social change. This work is the subject of a monograph provisionally titled A Blessing and a Curse: Oil, Politics and Morality in Bolivarian Venezuela, which draws on a decade of research to analyse the Bolivarian Revolution as it unfolded in the lives of working-class barrio residents.

In the UK, Matt has worked on the politics of housing and austerity governance in London as part of a collaborative project looking at advice, governance and care across Europe. 

Matt's research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Society for Latin American Studies, the Camel Trust and the Global Challenges Research Fund. He is currently working on a new project thinking through the relationship between the drive for Net Zero and questions of global socio-economic justice.



Journal articles

Wilde, M (2022) Eviction, gatekeeping and militant care: moral economies of housing in austerity London. Ethnos 87(1): 22-41.

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): 130-143.

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 (2016) Contested Spaces: Participatory Democracy and the Communal Councils in Chávez’s Venezuela. Latin American Perspectives, 212, 44(1): 140-158.



Wilde, M (2020) After Corona: The Ethical Case for a Green New Deal. University of Leicester Research Bites seminar.

Wilde, M (2018) Debt and precarious housing: ending a vicious cycle. UCL Institute for Global Prosperity.

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 (online special issue on political crisis in Venezuela).

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



Wilde, M (2022) State of Heath: Pleasure and Politics in Venezuelan Health Care under Chávez, by Amy Cooper. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (114) Rev. 4.

Wilde, M (2019) Channeling the State: Community Media and Popular Politics in Venezuela, by Naomi Schiller. European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (108), Rev. 3.

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.




Matt is interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas:

  • Activism, popular politics and social movements
  • Democracy and populism
  • Critical urban studies
  • Ethnographic approaches to the state
  • Political economies of energy
  • Europe, Latin America and the UK


Matt teaches on the following modules:

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

GY7411: Contemporary Critical Geographies

GY7412: Creative Geographies in Practice

Press and media

Matt is available for comment in the following areas:

  • The social and political life of Venezuela
  • Latin American current affairs
  • Political economies of energy
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