Scholar Susan S. Silbey discusses her life’s work on why people and organizations do and don’t obey the law for the latest episode of “Common Law,” a podcast of the University of Virginia School of law.
Most people follow the rules of society and the workplace without even thinking about them, says Silbey, who is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Over the past 30 years, she has worked to understand why that is, as well as to explore the relationship between people, organizations and regulations.
At MIT, Silbey is the Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities, Sociology and Anthropology and Professor of Behavioral and Policy Sciences at the Sloan School of Management. Her work has examined the governance and regulation of complex organizations, including audits, risk management and ethical lapses.
On the show, Silbey discusses findings from her seminal book, co-authored with Patricia Ewick, “The Common Place of Law: Stories from Everyday Life,” which studied how people use and sometimes resist laws and norms in their everyday lives. Silbey and hosts Dean Risa Goluboff and Professor Gregory Mitchell also discuss another key work about how scientists implemented new environmental and safety regulations in their university labs in the mid-1990s.
In a continuation of last season, which was dubbed “Co-Counsel,” the podcast’s fifth season features Goluboff and four rotating co-hosts: Mitchell, Danielle Citron, John Harrison and Cathy Hwang. Each are joining Goluboff to discuss cutting-edge research on law topics of their choice.
Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.