Alec (Alexandru) Balasescu

Associate faculty

Leadership Studies

Trained as an anthropologist, Alec Balasescu worked in state administration in Romania, cultural diplomacy in Istanbul, health care in Vancouver and in the automobile industry, while teaching and researching at universities around the world. His research, writing and practice is centered on understanding human actions in context — where context is understood to be the result of dynamic interactions between culture, technology, economy, religion, gender and sexuality, and institutional practices — and in developing strategies of change based on this.

He has received awards and research grants from the Otto Mauer Foundation and BMUKK Austria. He is a graduate of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (2009). Balasescu has also received a British Library Grant as part of its Endangered Archive Programme for his work “Faces and Places in early Modern Iran” (2005), and he is the recipient of the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Fellowship.


Balasescu has taught at UC Irvine, Simon Fraser University, Galatasaray University Istanbul, American University in Paris and the Royal University for Women in Bahrain. He was executive director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Istanbul and the chief of cabinet of the Ministry of Culture in Romania. Balasescu continues his research using anthropological and art-based methods to explore human-technology interaction, climate change and health.


Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology

University of California, Irvine

Master of Arts in Social Sciences

Université Lumière Lyon 2

Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Sociology

University of Bucharest


US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program


Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research Fellowship


Otto Mauer Foundation


BMUKK Austria


British Library Grant

Endangered Archive Programme grant for his work “Faces and Places in early Modern Iran”


Balasescu, Alexandru (2020) Ethics, Health, and AI in a COVID-19 world, in Eastern Focus Quarterly, July

Balasescu, Alexandru (2020) “Machine Anthropology or Will Robots Talk About Us Behind Our Back?” in Journal of Future Robot Life – inaugural issue, Amsterdam: IOS Press. pp.1-5. DOI: 10.3233/FRL-200004

Balasescu, Alexandru (2020) “The Aesthetics of Totalitarian Salvation” in Spectres of Fascism: History and Theory in Global Perspective, Samir Gandesha (ed.), London: Pluto Press.

Balasescu, Alexandru (2019) “The Summer of Discontent. Everything you need to know about Hong Kong Protests” in Global Focus

Balasescu, Alexandru and A. Jain (2018), “Financial Bubbles and Their Magic.” Journal of Philosophical Economics, Volume XII, issue 1. Bucharest: Rosetti International Publishing House.

Balasescu, Alexandru and T. Seguin (2017). “Another Economy: Towards a Cultural Dialectics between Energy and Society.” Innovation: The European Journal of Social Sciences, Volume 30 - Issue 3, pp. 251-277. Francis and Taylor DOI: 10.1080/13511610.2017.1361813

Balasescu, Alexandru (2017) “Adopt a Canadian” – short story in Allegra Laboratory, Berlin, – Berlin based publication on Anthropology and Reserch

Balasescu, Alexandru (2017) “Global Fashion and Religious Identity”. Book Review for Muslim Fashions. Contemporary Style Cultures. By Reina Lewis. Durham and London: Duke University Press. in Journal of Middle East Women's Studies.

Balasescu, Alexandru (2014) „The National (Dis-)Order of Things, Or the Reduction to Absurd of the Human Geography” chapter contribution in Series. Multiples. Realisms bilingual En/Ro, edited by Alina Serban, Bucharest, Art Association Ilfoveanu.


Balasescu, Alexandru (2007). Paris Chic, Tehran Thrills. Aesthetic Bodies, Political Subjects. Zeta Books.