David Sneath is a Reader in the Anthropology of Political Economy, a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, and a Co-editor of the journal Inner Asia. He completed his PhD at Cambridge University in 1991, studying social, economic and political change among Mongolian pastoralists in Inner Mongolia, China. He went on to conduct postdoctoral research on environment and society in Mongolia and Inner Asia, and lectured at Oxford University before returning to the department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge in 2000. He was the Director of MIASU from 2000 to 2009 and head of the social anthropology department from 2009 until 2012. He has been the non-resident International Visiting Scholar at the National University of Mongolia since 2006 and regularly travels to Mongolia for research.
He has authored more than 20 books and papers on the region, including:- The Headless State: Aristocratic Orders, Kinship Society, and Representations of Nomadic Inner Asia , 2007, Columbia University Press; Changing Inner Mongolia: Pastoral Mongolian Society and the Chinese State, 2000, Oxford University Press; The End of Nomadism? Society, State and the Environment in Inner Asia, (with C. Humphrey) 1999, Duke University Press; and 'State policy and pasture degradation in Inner Asia,' Science, Vol. 281, No. 5380, 21 August 1998.