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Department of Political Science

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Susan Sterett

  • Susan Sterett

    Susan Sterett


Susan Sterett is on leave from the University of Denver until Fall 2014. She will be serving as a program officer for the Law and Social Sciences Program at the National Science Foundation.

Areas of expertise/research interests

Law and society, social welfare in Western post-industrial states, displacement, American political development, and citizenship.

Professional biography

Susan Sterett was a Fulbright scholar at the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick in 1995, a Fulbright scholar at the China University of Political Science and Law in 2002, a Fulbright senior specialist at Tongji University in Shanghai in 2008, and a fellow at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, in 2008.

In 2005, Sterett and her colleagues Jennifer Reich and Martha Wadsworth were awarded a National Science Foundation grant for the research project, "Delivery of Services to Evacuees from Katrina."

She has served as the University of Denver's chair of the Department of Political Science, and was associate dean of the Divisions of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences from 2009-2011.

In 2011, Sterett organized a workshop at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Onati, Spain, funded by the National Science Foundation. From the conference, she edited the collection "Disaster and Sociolegal Studies," which is scheduled for publication.

She is serving through Fall 2014 as the National Science Foundation's director for its Law and Social Sciences Program.


PhD, Jurisprudence and Social Policy, University of California at Berkeley, 1987
MA, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, University of California at Berkeley, 1983
BA, Political Science, University of California at San Diego, 1980


"Need and Citizenship after Disaster," Natural Hazards Review 13(3): 233-245, 2012.

"State Policy and Disaster Assistance: listening to women," p. 118-129 in Elaine Enarson and Emmanuel David, eds., Women of Katrina, edited by, Vanderbilt University Press, 2012.

"New Orleans Everywhere: bureaucratic accountability and housing policy after Katrina." p. 83-115. In Austin Sarat and Javier Lezaun, eds., Catastrophe: law, politics, and the humanitarian impulse, University of Massachusetts Press, 2009.

"Parents and Paperwork: same sex parents, birth certificates, and emergent legality." p. 103-119. In Scott Barclay, Mary Bernstein and Anna-Maria Marshall, eds., Queer Mobilizations: LGBT activists confront the law, New York University Press, 2009.

Volume editor, Immigration (Series editor: Austin Sarat), Ashgate Publishing, 2006.

Public Pensions: Gender and Civic Service in the States, 1850-1937 , Cornell University Press, 2003.

Editor, Law and Society Review special issue, "Non-Biological Parenting" 36(2), 2002.

Creating Constitutionalism: Professional Politics and Administrative Law in England and Wales, University of Michigan Press, 1997