Previous Small Grants Projects

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Rural Inequalities Amidst Economic Crisis and Change: A Special Issue of The Journal of Rural Studies (David Brown)

“Rural Inequalities Amidst Economic Crisis and Change” shapes and motivates the special issue we are producing for the Journal of Rural Studies. Throughout the global north, rural areas lag behind national rates of economic growth, suffer from chronic out migration of young adults and better educated persons, have lower access to essential services, and have weaker institutional capacities. However, scholars have also shown that rural regions are highly differentiated with opportunities resulting from long term economic restructuring, and changes in urban and rural lifestyles (Ward and Brown 2006). This special issue will provide an analysis of the determinants and consequences of inequalities across a wide range of domains of interest to rural scholars including the economy, local government and other public institutions, population size and structure, agriculture and the food system and environmental management. Ten papers are currently under consideration: 2 from Cornell, 2 from Penn State, 1 from Syracuse, and 5 from our UK colleagues. These papers consider how the various domains are effected by immediate crises, and by longer term transformations of fundamental social economic, and institutional structures.

Food, Agroecology, Justice and Well-Being Symposium (Rachel Bezner-Kerr)

The Food, Agroecology, Justice, and Wellbeing collective is a research group consisting of graduate students, faculty and post-doctoral students from across the university. Our overarching interests are on the intersections and connections between the broad themes of agroecology, food sovereignty/food justice and health/nutrition/well-being. We began as a Research Working Group in 2014 with support from the Polson Institute, and have met numerous times to share work in progress, host speakers, and discuss relevant papers on these themes. The membership of the group has changed over the last 2 years, and we currently consist of approximately 15 members from Nutrition, Development Sociology, Agricultural Economics, Crop and Soil Sciences and Ecology. In April 2017 , a 3-day symposium was held which will brought together external participants (5 international, 15 domestic) as well as Cornell researchers—including junior and senior faculty, postdocs, and graduate students, exploring transformative methodologies for linking agroecological practice, food justice, food sovereignty and improved health and well-being through presentations, discussions and collective writing.

The Polson Institute has supported numerous efforts since its inception. For more information regarding previous projects, please contact