Academic Staff

Dr Linsey McGoey

Position in departmentPGT Director
Staff positionSenior Lecturer
Office hoursPlease email me for an appointment at your convenience.

McGoey studied journalism at Carleton University, Ottawa, before working briefly as a news editor and freelance journalist. She moved to the UK for a MSc in Social Anthropology and a PhD in Sociology at the London School of Economics. This was followed by an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship at the School of Geography, University of Oxford, and a James Martin Fellowship at the Said Business School, Oxford. McGoey is a Research Associate of the LSE's Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR), and has acted as an advisor to the World Health Organization. From 2013 to 2016, she led the ESRC seminar series, Spaces of Evidence. She is on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Economy and Society and Finance and Society

McGoey is a frequent contributor to media, with recent appearances on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed; the New Books Network; Ireland's Newstalk; and Canada's CBC news. She has written articles for Fortune, Guardian, Open Democracy, The Times, and Jacobin.

For a short clip featuring McGoey's take on the new philanthrocapitalism, see this BBC World News interview. Twitter @LinseyMcGoey

Current research

Research interests
  • Social theories of knowledge and ignorance
  • Economic sociology 
  • Global health governance
  • Human rights-based approaches to health and development
Teaching responsibilities

Current PhD Students:
Eduardo Goncalves; David Lee; Daniela Boraschi; Amy Dickens; Jo Reyes. 



McGoey, L. (2015) No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy (London and New York, Verso).

  • 'Highly recommended' by Choice magazine. 
  • See reviews in the Times Higher Education; Maclean's; Fast Company; Financial Times; Wall Street Journal; Kirkus; New Republic and the Guardian.  

Gross, M. and McGoey, L (eds) (2015) Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies (London, Routledge).

  • Discussed in The New York Times here; and the Washington Post here

McGoey, L (Ed) (2014) An Introduction to the Sociology of Ignorance: Essays on the Limits of Knowing (London: Routledge).  

Selected articles, book chapters, and translated work 

McGoey, L. 2016 ‘Bataille and the Sociology of Abundance: Rethinking Gifts, Debt and Economic Excess’ Theory, Culture and Society, in press, DOI: 10.1177/0263276416637905

McGoey, L. (2015) Vom Nutzen und Nachteil strategischen Nichtwissens. In: P. Wehling (ed): Vom Nutzen des Nichtwissens. Sozial- und kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven. Bielefeld (Germany): Transcript-Verlag.

McGoey, L. 2014. "The Philanthropic State: market-state hybrids in the philanthrocapitalist turn." Third World Quarterly. 35(1): 109-125.

McGoey, L. (2014) “Valeur de l’ignorance dans les controversies scientifique and éthique’ in Albertine, C. and Pujol, J-L (eds), Stratégie, Ignorance et Methode Scientifique dans les Débats’ Insitut National De la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), 978-2-7380-1367-8.

McGoey, L. (2014) “From accidental to ambitious sociology” In Sociologists’ Tales. Eds Mark Doidge, Katherine Twamley and Andrea Scott. Policy Press.

McGoey, L. 2012. Strategic unknowns: towards a sociology of ignorance. Economy & Society 41(1): 1-16.

McGoey, L. 2012. "The Logic of Strategic Ignorance." British Journal of Sociology 63(3) 553-576.

McGoey, L. 2012. "Philanthrocapitalism and its critics." Poetics. 40(2): 185-199

Davies, W and McGoey. 2012. "Rationalities of ignorance: On financial crisis and the ambivalence of neo-liberal epistemology." Economy and Society, 41(1): 64-83.

McGoey, L, Walhberg, A and Reiss, J. 2011. The Global Health Complex. (Introduction, Special Issue of BioSocieties).

McGoey, L. (2011) “Police reinforcement: the anti-politics of organizational life.” In Reading Rancière, Eds Paul Bowman and Richard Stamp. Continuum.

McCoy, D. and McGoey, L. (2011) Global Health and the Gates Foundation – In Perspective. In Partnerships and Foundations in global health governance, Eds Owain Williams and Simon Rushton, Palgrave. 

McGoey, L. 2010. "Profitable failure: Antidepressant drugs and the triumph of flawed experiments." History of Human Sciences, 23(1), pp/ 58-78.

McGoey, L. and Jackson, E. 2009. "Seroxat and the suppression of trial data: Regulatory failure and the uses of legal ambiguity." Journal of Medical Ethics, 36(2), pp. 107-112.

McGoey, L. 2009. "Pharmaceutical Controversies and the Performative Value of Uncertainty." Science as Culture, 18(2), pp. 151-164.

McGoey, L. 2007. "On the will to ignorance in bureaucracy." Economy and Society, 36(2), pp. 212-235.


Selected Keynotes 

January 2016 - Keynote speaker, Development 2:0, De Balie, Amsterdam (hosted by the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the Climate Group).  See podcast here.

September 2014 - Keynote speaker, France Strategie, division of the Office of the Prime Minister, in concert INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research). See summary here.  

<< Back