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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Michael Lowy

Video - Michael Lowy on Marxism in the 21st century

Jul 18, 2018
In 2018, The Polson Institute visiting faculty program brought Michael Lowy, Emeritus Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), to teach a course on eco-socialism and the Anthropocene at Cornell. In this video, he comments on what it means to be a marxist in the 21st century. Read more
Photo of Jaron Porciello

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