Susan Silbey


Susan Silbey

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Affiliated MIT Sloan Group

MIT Department

Centers & Initiatives

Professor Susan S. Silbey is Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, and Professor of Behavioral and Policy Sciences, Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Silbey is interested in the governance, regulatory and audit processes in complex organizations. Her current research focuses on the creation of management systems for containing risks, including ethical lapses, as well as environment, health and safety hazards.

Previous books include The Common Place of Law: Stories from Everyday Life (with Patricia Ewick) (1998), In Litigation: Do the 'Haves' Still Come Out Ahead (with Herbert Kritzer) (2003), Law and Science (I): Epistemological, Evidentiary, and Relational Engagements, and Law and Science (II): Regulation of Property, Practices, and Products(2008).

Silbey is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (2009), Doctor Honoris Causa from Ecole Normale Superiere Cachan in Paris (2006) and the Harry Kalven Jr. Prize for advancing the sociology of law (2009). She is Past President of the Law & Society Association, and a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.


"Rank Has Its Privileges: Explaining Why Laboratory Safety Is a Persistent Challenge."

Basbug, Gokce, Ayn Cavicchi, and Susan S. Silbey. Journal of Business Ethics Vol. 184, No. 3 (2023): 571-587.

"Co-Opting Regulation: Professional Control Through Discretionary Mobilization of Legal Prescriptions and Expert Knowledge."

Evans, Joelle, and Susan S. Silbey. Organization Science Vol. 33, No. 5 (2022): 2041-2064.

"The Dog That Didn’t Bark: Looking for Techno-Libertarian Ideology in a Decade of Public Discourse about Big Tech Regulation."

Short, Jodi L, Reuel Schiller, Susan S. Silbey, Noah Jones, Babak Hemmatian, and LeeAnna Bowman-Carpio. Ohio State Technology Law Journal Vol. 19, No. 1 (2022): 1-44.

"Why do Biologists and Chemists do Safety Differently? The Reproduction of Cultural Variation through Pragmatic Regulation."

Silbey, Susan. In The New Pragmatist Sociology: Inquiry, Agency, and Democracy, edited by Christopher Winship, Isaac Reed, and Neil Gross, 256-304. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2022.

"Accountability Infrastructures: Pragmatic Regulation Inside Organizations."

Huising, Ruthanne, and Susan S. Silbey. Regulation and Governance Vol. 15, No. s1 (2021): s40-s62. Download Paper.

"To Protect from Lab Leaks, We Need ‘banal’ Safety Rules, Not Anti-terrorism Measures."

Huising, Ruthanne, and Susan S. Silbey. STAT, August 13, 2021.

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