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Development Sociology faculty and students conduct research motivated by disciplinary and social concerns. They apply a broad range of theoretical and methodological approaches to shared substantive concerns including the causes of globalization and consequences like displacement, peasant mobilization, domestic and international migration, and environmental change and degradation. Additionally, faculty members have longstanding research programs on the spatial dimensions of population and land use change; post-socialist community and population change; trends in poverty and inequality; education and human capital development; and fertility and family formation. Development Sociology fills a unique niche within the discipline and the university and attracts professors and students who share a commitment to rigorous, theoretically informed inquiry combined with social engagement.

To access faculty research interests and pages, please visit the Faculty and Research Associates page.

The department is also the home for two research institutes:

Polson Institute for Global Development

The Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Institute for Global Development was established in 2001 as a research and outreach institute within the Department of Development Sociology of Cornell University. The Polson Institute for Global Development promotes theoretical and applied research activities related to global development. Learn more


Population and Development Program

Director – Tom Hirschl
The Population and Development Program (PDP) seeks to facilitate research on population dynamics. In pursuit of this goal, it promotes collaboration among scholars of diverse disciplines in the Cornell community who teach and conduct research on population issues and relationships.