Susan M. Sterett

Headshot of Public Policy Director, Susan Sterett.
Susan M. Sterett

Professor, Public Policy

1987 Ph.D. Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program University of California, Berkeley
1983 M.A. Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program University of California, Berkeley
1980 B.A. Major: Political Science University of California at San Diego







Recent Publications

2023. Litigating the Pandemic: Disaster Cascades in Court (University of Pennsylvania Press)

Retrieving the Social Sciences podcast episode here.

I recommend books on disasters in a changing climate  on here.

Shepherd’s booklist on pandemics is wideranging, from fiction about families, friendship, and illness, to history. It’s an invaluable resource as all of us try to make sense of what 2020 brought. is a wonderful site for all of us who love books. It allows readers to discover books that share a theme by wandering through book recommendations by authors.

2022.  “Legal Claims and Compensation in Climate-Related Disaster.” With Laura K. Mateczun. Political Science Quarterly.

2022. “Domestic Structures, Misalignment, and Defining the Climate Displacement Problem.” Social Sciences. For a special issue on climate change and displacement, Andrea Simonelli and Heather Croshaw, guest eds.

2020    Displacement, Disaster and Legal Mobilization: trial courts and legal process. With Laura K. Mateczun. Risks, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy 11(2020): 348-376.

2019. Research Handbook on Law and Courts  (Edited with Lee D. Walker) (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar)

2018.  “Data Access as Regulation.”  American Behavioral Scientist.

2018.  Law’s Presence, Law’s Absence: reporting on employment in the academy.  Politics and Gender 14(3): 512-551.

2018.  “Symposium: Reflecting on the Profession.” Co-editor with Jennifer Diascro. PS: Political Science and Politics.

2017 “Administrative law and service learning.” For a symposium in Administration and
Society. With Nicole Dupuis and Faith Hubbard (graduate students).

2016a “Bureaucratic documents and Home: Assistance after Hurricane Katrina” in Indiana
Journal of Global Legal Studies 23(2): 567-601.

2016b “Introduction” in Symposium, “Legal Mobilization and Juridification: Migration as a
Central Case,” Law and Policy 38(4): 273-279.

2015a “Disaster Assistance and Displacement: Care and Surveillance” Studies in Law, Politics
and Society, issue entitled “Cassandra’s Curse: Forecasting Future Disasters.” Emerald
Publishing Group.

2015b “What is Law and Society? Definitional Disputes.” In Patricia Ewick and Austin Sarat,
eds., Wiley Handbook of Law and Society.

2015c “Disaster, Displacement and Casework: Uncertainty and Assistance after Hurricane
Katrina” Law and Policy.

In Progress

Records, freedom of information and transparency in a changing climate: FEMA and instrumental and conceptual uses. (under review).

Fleeing Home: law and displacement (Under contract with University of Pennsylvania Press)

Grants & Awards

2019 Workshop Grant, NSF (with Bernard Fraga and Taneisha Means) “Equity in Political Science.”

2017 Fulbright Specialist Award, University of Cape Town, August 2017.

2016 Workshop grant, Law and Social Sciences (w/Jennifer Diascro and Judith Grant) (NSF
SES-#1643084) ($40,751)
Research grant, Appealing to the Authority of Data: using information: NSF Smart and
Connected Communities (#1637205) (Adam Eckerd, VT, co-PI) ($199,999)
Support for international travel, NSF Law and Social Sciences (#1721745) $16,576

2016 Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Workshop grant, Climate Change
and Sociolegal Studies (Anna-Maria Marshall, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
and Scott Barclay, Drexel University, co-PIs). (Value approx $20,000) Workshop
held July 2017. Grant from NSF to support travel.

2016 “Workshop: Ethics and Big Data.” With Kelly Joyce (Drexel University), co-PI. (NSF
#1623445) ($46,355).
Law and Society Association, in support of editorship ($42,000)


Co-editor, Law and Society Review (2016-2019)

Co-editor, Special Issue, “Law in a Changing Climate.”  Law and Society Review (With Vitor Martins-Dias and Anna-Maria Marshall).

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