Anirudh Krishna is Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University. His research investigates how poor communities and individuals in developing countries cope with the structural and personal constraints that result in poverty and powerlessness. Recent research projects have examined poverty dynamics at the household level for 35,000 households in India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, and the U.S. examining both how people escaped poverty, and more importantly, how some came to be poor in the first place. Current research concerns include social mobility, spatial inequality, democratic governance, and urban slums. Dr. Krishna’s recent publications include One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How they Escape Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2010) and Poverty, Participation and Democracy: A Global Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2008). He has written five other books and published more than fifty journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Krishna received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University, Sweden in 2011; the Olaf Palme Visiting Professorship from the Swedish Research Council in 2007; the Dudley Seers Memorial Prize in 2005; and the Best Article Award of the American Political Science Association, Comparative Democratization Section in 2002. Before returning to academia, he spent 14 years with the Indian Administrative Service, managing diverse rural and urban development initiatives.
About the Lecture:
Globalized growth is widening spatial disparities in developing countries. A concentric pattern of development ranged around bigger cities, with radially dissipating benefits, has emerged. Assets and income, health status, education achievement, information, and governance quality are all at higher levels in cities, falling off and becoming progressively lower deeper into the countryside. Remote rural villages, home to more than half India’s population, have regressed, not just in relative, but also in absolute terms. The more rural you are the worse are your prospects for significant upward mobility. Coping with widening urban-rural gaps is a critical and unprecedented challenge for public policy, becoming harder on account of elite perceptions and attitudes.