Polson Institute for Global Development

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The Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Institute for Global Development supports a range of conceptual, policy-focused, and programmatic work. We facilitate innovative research, outreach, and instruction on campus and beyond. 

Catalyzing both theoretical and applied social science research, our projects address issues ranging from economic inequality to discursive politics, contributing to Cornell’s leadership in global development. 

Established in 2001 within the Department of Development Sociology, the Polson Institute has enhanced and extended the efforts of the department members, creating space for collaboration within and between Development Sociology, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Cornell University community. Through seminars, workshops, and grants we not only plant seeds for research and academic collaboration, but contribute to educational opportunities for students outside of the classroom.

Banner image courtesy of David Sasaki on Flickr.

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Latest News from the Polson Institute

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Blog - The Social Side of Cold, Hard, Data

May 1, 2018
By Jaron Porciello

Nearly a decade ago I worked with group of graduate students in west Africa who were collecting daily soil samples. The small research field, overcrowded with curled and drooping maize, was far enough from their research lab and classrooms that the students drove to from the lab to the field in a shared institutional car.... Read more

Video - What are your odds of going into poverty?

Apr 24, 2018
Mark Rank (Washington University in St. Louis) and Tom Hirschl (Cornell, Development Sociology) have developed a calculator which can determine an American’s expected risk of poverty based on their race, education level, gender, marital status and age. With support from the Polson Institute for Global Development, they have developed this video to provide an overview of the fundamental concepts. Read more