Harvey Sapolsky

Harvey Sapolsky

Professor of Public Policy and Organization, Emeritus

Public policy; security studies program; policy outcomes; institutional structure.


Harvey Sapolsky is Professor of Public Policy and Organization and recently retired from teaching political science and directing the MIT Security Studies Program. Professor Sapolsky completed his B.A. at Boston University and earned a M.P.A. and Ph.D. (Political Economy and Government) at Harvard University. He has worked in a number of public policy areas, including health, science, and defense, and specializes in analyzing the effects of institutional structures and bureaucratic routines on policy outcomes. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. In the defense field he has served as a consultant or panel member for Commission on Government Procurement, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of Naval Research, the Naval War College, the U. S. Army, Draper Laboratory, the RAND Corporation, John Hopkins' Applied Physics Laboratory, the National Research Council, and the Department of Energy. His current research focuses on three main areas: U. S. defense politics including especially inter-service and civil/military relations; the impact of casualties on the use of force; weapon acquisition policies, military innovation, and the structure and performance of defense industries.

Recent Publications

US Defense Politics: The Origins of Security Policy. Routledge, New York. 2008.

Science and the Navy: The History of the Office of Naval Research. Princeton University Press, Princeton. 1990.

The Polaris System Development: Bureaucratic and Programmatic Success in Government. Harvard University Press, Cambridge. 1972.