Hilary Silver

Hilary Silver

Professor and Chair
409 J
Address: Phillips Hall
Phone: 202-994-6899
[email protected]

Areas of Expertise

Social exclusion and inclusion, inequality, poverty, housing, homelessness, urban studies.

Hilary Silver is Professor of Sociology, International Affairs, and Public Policy and Public Administration and Chair of the Department of Sociology.  She arrived at GW in 2017 after rising through the ranks at Brown University, where she is Professor emerita of Sociology and Urban Studies.  Silver served two terms as Editor of City & Community, the journal of the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, which honored her with the Lynd Award for Career Lifetime Achievement.

She has been a consultant to major international organizations, such as the World Bank, United Nations, IADB, and International Labor Organization, on issues of social exclusion and inclusion, and to the US Government and the State of Rhode Island on racial disparities.  She has held visiting appointments at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, INSEE, and INED in Paris, Centre des Sciences Humaines in New Delhi, Universite de Lille I, WZB, and Tel Aviv, Korea, Oxford, Bristol, Sussex, New York and Columbia Universities.  She was a longtime Affiliate of the Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies at Harvard, and a senior fellow at the Ash Center, Kennedy School of Government.  She has received multiple grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst [DAAD], National Science Foundation, and National Endowment for the Humanities and RI Council for the Humanities. The latter funded her two films, Southside and Direction Home. In 2016, she held a fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies.

With Clarence Stone and Greg Squires, she is co-organizer of the GW University Seminar on Bottom-Up Politics.


Current Research

Migrant integration in Berlin.


Ph.D. Columbia University


Most cited work:
Most recent works:
“Youth Exclusion in the Middle East.” The Muslim World 107, 1 (2017): 13-40.
“National Urban Policy in the Age of Obama.” Pp. 11-44 in James DeFilippis, ed. Urban Policy in the Time of Obama.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.


Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Distinguished Lifetime-Career Achievement, 2016.

Fulbright Scholar to France, Germany, and Israel; Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Academic Visitor at Nuffield College Oxford, Fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Study and Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg.

Classes Taught

Graduate Courses:

SOC 6250 - Urban Sociology

SOC 6252 - Homelessness