Andrew Lakoff holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Sociology and Communication. He was trained as an anthropologist of science and medicine, and has conducted research in Argentina, France and the United States. His areas of interest include globalization processes, the history of the human sciences, contemporary social theory, and risk society. Lakoff’s first book, Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry (Cambridge, 2005), examines the role of the global circulation of pharmaceuticals in the spread of biological models of human behavior. He has also co-edited a book entitled Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practice (Duke, 2006), and has published articles on visual technology and the behavioral sciences, on the history of attention deficit disorder, on antidepressants and the placebo effect, and on forms of expertise in global health. Lakoff’s current research concerns the recent articulation of expertise in public health and security in a global context, and his recent book publications include the co-edited volume, Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question (Columbia University Press, 2008), and the edited volume Disaster and the Politics of Intervention (Columbia University Press, 2010). His most recent book is Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency (University of California Press, 2017). Lakoff's next book, co-authored with Stephen J. Collier, is entitled The Government of Emergency: Vital Systems Security and the Birth of American Biopolitics, and is under contract with Princeton University Press.


  • –present
    Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences