Anirudh Krishna

  • Professor of Public Policy and Political Science
  • Duke University



Anirudh Krishna (PhD in Government, Cornell University, 2000; Masters in Economics, Delhi University, 1980) 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 North Carolina, USA (, examining both how people escaped poverty – and more important, how some came to be poor in the first place. Current research concerns include social mobility, spatial inequality, democratic governance, and urban slums. 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 also has five other books and more than fifty journal articles and book chapters. 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, Krishna spent 14 years with the Indian Administrative Service, managing diverse rural and urban development initiatives.