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Polson Institute for Global Development

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Catalyzing innovative research and instruction on global development.


The Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Institute for Global Development supports theoretical and applied social science research. We fund projects and working groups that 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

Video - Parfait Eloundou on the 'Future of Development' Symposium

May 1, 2018
This symposium is the first in a new series of events, led by the Polson Institute, that will explore topics that define the 'Future of Development'. By bringing critical voices into dialogue with practitioners and policy-makers, the series is creating opportunities to think through the social and political challenges that influence the effectiveness and fairness of global development. Read more

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