2012    Ph.D., Political Science, University of New Mexico                                                                                   Subfields: Comparative Politics, International Relations (with distinction)

2006    M.A., Latin American Studies, University of New Mexico                                                                    Subfields: Political Science and History (with distinction)

1997    B.A., Reed College (Portland, OR)

Additional Training

2011    Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. University of Michigan

2009    Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research.  Syracuse University

   Academic Positions                                                                                                                     

Fall 2017 –       University of Michigan, Organizational Studies Program                                                                          Assistant Professor

Fall 2017 –       University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs                                                                               Research Associate, Innovation Policy Lab

2014-2017       University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs                                                                                Research Fellow, Innovation Policy Lab

2013-14           Scripps College, Department of Politics and Int. Relations (Claremont, CA)                                         Visiting Assistant Professor

2012-13           University of Notre Dame, Kellogg Institute for International Studies                                                   Post-Doctoral Fellow



2017    Samford, Steven. “Networks, Brokerage, and State-Led Technology Diffusion in Small Industry.” American Journal of Sociology 122 (5): 1339-70.

2017    Samford, Steven, Peter Warrian, & Elena Goracinova. “Public and Private Goods in Developing Advanced Manufacturing Capacity.” Business and Politics 19(3): 482-905.

2016    Samford, Steven. “Small Enterprise and the Low-Innovation Trap: Evidence from Environmental Regulation of Industry in Mexico.” Kellogg Institute Working Paper Series #409.

2015    Samford, Steven. “Innovation and Public Space: The Developmental Possibilities of Regulation in the Global South.” Regulation and Governance 9(3): 294-312.

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

2013    Adhikari, Prakash and Steven Samford. “The Nepali State and the Dynamics of Maoist Insurgency.” Studies in Comparative International Development. 48 (4): 457-481.

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

Other Writing

2017    Breznitz, Dan and Steven Samford. 2017. “Analysis of Innovation Agencies: Case Study: Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).” Unpublished Report, Inter-American Development Bank

2016    Breznitz, Dan and Steven Samford. 2016. “Innovation Agencies: The Road Ahead.” Unpublished Report, Inter-American Development Bank

2015    Samford, Steven. “Structure, Meaning, and Network Causality.” Qualitative and Multi-Method Research 13(2): 9-13.

2012    Samford, Steven. “Review: John A. Donaldson, Small Works: Poverty and Economic Development in Southwestern China (Cornell UP, 2011).” Journal of Politics 74(4).

2011    Samford, Steven. 2011. “From Tradition to Trade: The Challenges of Upgrading Mexican Ceramics of World Markets.”  Americas Quarterly: The Policy Journal for Our Hemisphere 5(1).

   Selected Works in Progress                                                                                                      

Book Manuscript

 High-Road Development in Low-Tech Industry

Selected Working Papers

“Mission Critical: The Ends, Means and Design of Innovation Agencies” (with Dan Breznitz and Darius Ornston, Toronto)

“Business Networks, Foreign Investment, and Enclave Formation” (with Dan Breznitz, Toronto)

“Network-Construction and Network-Activation by Innovation Agencies”

“The Development of Local Industrial Policy in Mexico” (with Priscila Ortega Gómez)


2013       Virginia M. Walsh Dissertation Award American Political Science Assoc., STEP Section

2013       Best Dissertation Award, Latin American Studies Association, Mexico Section

2013       Early Career Paper Award, Latin American Studies Assoc., Economics & Politics Section

1994-7    Commendation for Excellence in Scholarship, Reed College


2015       Mexican Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AMEXCID), Excellence Grant for Foreign Scholars

2010-12  National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant

2010-11  Social Science Research Council, International Dissertation Research Fellowship

2010-11  Fulbright US Student Program, Fulbright-García Robles Grant – Mexico

2010       Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies, Dissertation Fellowship (Declined)

2011-12  Latin American & Iberian Institute (University of New Mexico), Doctoral Fellowship

2011       Office of Graduate Studies (University of New Mexico) Future Faculty Grant

2010       Tinker Foundation/LAII (UNM), Field Research Grant

2009       Department of Political Science (University of New Mexico), Travel Grant

2009       Graduate Student Assoc. (University of New Mexico), Specialized Travel Grant

2009, 11 Graduate Student Assoc. (University of New Mexico), Research Allocation Grant


Invited Talks

2016    Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University

2015    Ministry of Innovation, Science, & Technology, State of Jalisco (Mexico)

2013    University of Notre Dame, Kellogg Institute for International Studies

2012    Cornell University, Latin American Studies Program

2011    Fulbright-Garcia Robles Conference (Mexico City, Mexico)

Conference Presentations (Selected)

2016    “Business Networks and the Failure of the Maquiladora Model in Jalisco, Mexico,,” REPAL Annual Conference (MIT)

2016    “The Development of Local Industrial Policy in Mexico,” Latin American Studies Association Meeting (New York, NY)

2014    “The Failure of the Assembly Model in Latin America, ”Cardiff Business School, Workshop Comparing Latin American and Asian Political Economy (Cardiff, Wales)

2014    “Technological Innovation and Social Regulation in Developing Economies,” American Political Science Association Meeting (Washington, D.C.)

2014    “Small Enterprises as Shapers of Environmental Regulation,” Latin American Studies Association Meeting (Chicago, IL)

2014    “Collective Action and the Regulation of Microenterprises,” International Studies Association Meeting (Toronto, ON)

2013    Panel Discussant: Immigration, Political Economy; “Indigenous Production in the Era Market Integration: Evidence from Mexico,” Midwest Political Science Association Meeting (Chicago, IL)

2012    “Embedded Autonomy Revisited: Brokering Technology Diffusion,” American Sociological Association Meeting (Denver, CO)

2012    “Getting the Lead Out: Facilitating Compliance in the Mexican Ceramics Sector,” Latin American Studies Association (San Francisco, CA)

2012    “State-Led Brokerage and Technology Diffusion in Small Industry, ”Ford Foundation/LASA Conference on Rewarding Regulation (Albuquerque, NM)

2012    “Co-Producing Innovation: The Politics of Productive Ideas,” Social Science Research Council IDRF Conference (Savannah, GA)

2011    “The Subnational Politics of Foreign Direct Investment in Mexico” (with Priscila Ortega); “Networks and Innovation in the Mexican Ceramics Sector,” American Political Science Association Meeting (Seattle, WA)

2011    “Public-Private Dynamics and Upgrading Work Conditions,” UCLA conference on Labor in the Global South (Los Angeles, CA)

Policy Consulting                                                                                                            

2015    State of Jalisco (Mexico), Ministry of Innovation, Science, & Technology: “Cultivating Technology in Jalisco’s Tech Hub”

2016    Inter-American Development Bank, Competitiveness and Innovation Division: “Innovation Agencies: The Road Ahead”

   Professional Service                                                                                                                  

Professional Associations

American Political Science Association (Science, Technology, and Environmental Politics Award Committee (2015))

American Sociological Association(Development Sociology Awards Committee (2013))

Latin American Studies Association (Economics and Politics Executive Council / Secretary-Treasurer (2013-Present); Economics and Politics Early Career Award Committee (2014); Economics and Politics Open Article Award Committee (2016))

Society for Advancement of Socio-Economics

Manuscript Reviewer

American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Development Studies, Economics and Politics, Studies in Comparative International Development, Latin American Politics and Society, Kellogg Institute for International Studies Working Paper Series



Spanish – Advanced

Portuguese – Basic

International Experience

Mexico (fieldwork), 2010-2011, 2012, 2015

Ecuador (teaching), 2003-2004

El Salvador (teaching), 2001-2003