Steven Samford

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan


I am an assistant professor of Organizational Studies at the University of Michigan. I study organizations and the political economy of development, focusing on how the interactions between state bureaucracies (such as innovation agencies or regulators) and businesses and business organizations affect technology development and diffusion. My papers have appeared (or are forthcoming) in the American Journal of SociologyReview of International Political EconomyPolitics & SocietyStudies in Comparative International DevelopmentBusiness & Politics, and Regulation & Governance. Additionally, I am completing a book manuscript on the politics of innovation in low-tech industry in Mexico. It addresses the larger question of why some small firms in labor-intensive industries in the developing world have been able to adapt positively to globalized markets and why others have been forced to take the “low road” of cutting wages and health and labor protections in order to compete. I have also done policy work for the Government of Jalisco (Mexico) and the Inter-American Development Bank. I was a post doctoral fellow in the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School from 2014-2017.

Selected Publications

Samford, Steven. Forthcoming. “Innovation and Public Space: The Developmental Possibilities of Regulation in the Global South.” Regulation and Governance.

Samford, Steven and Priscila Ortega Gómez. 2014. “Subnational Politics and Foreign Direct Investment in Mexico.” Review of International Political Economy. 21(2): 467-496.

Samford, Steven. 2010. “Averting ‘Disruption and Reversal’: The Logic of Rapid Trade Reform in Latin America.” Politics and Society 38 (3): 373-407.

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