Reader in the Dept of Anthropology, Durham University

Simone Abram qualified in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Manchester University, then studied Social Anthropology at Oxford University. After a DPhil on history and heritage in the French Auvergne, she turned to questions of governance, with research on local and regional planning in the UK and Norway. Her work now spans the fields of governance, tourism and energy.

In 2000, she was invited to be a Visiting Research Fellow at the department of Social Anthropology at Oslo University, and combined with an ESRC research award, conducted fieldwork in a Norwegian local authority.

Through various articles and book chapters, Simone has outlined the process of neo-liberalisation of Norwegian local government, in comparison with the introduction of New Public Management in the UK and demonstrated the effects on individual bureaucrats. A recent monograph, ‘Culture and Planning’ synthesises many of the observations and theoretical questions that were raised in empirical research in both England and Norway. It aims to challenge established uses of the term ‘culture’ and ‘cultural’ in planning practice and education, and already appears on planning studies reading lists.


  • –present
    Reader in the Dept of Anthropology, Durham University


  • 1994 
    Oxford University, DPhil