Anirudh Krishna

Anirudh Krishna

Professor of Political Science

External Address: 
212 Sanford Inst Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708-0245
(919) 613-7337
Comparative Politics, Political Institutions

Anirudh Krishna is a 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. His most recent book, One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How they Escape Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2010), examines poverty dynamics at the household level, tracking movements into and out of poverty of over 35,000 households in 400 communities of India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru and North Carolina, USA.Krishna has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters. Other books include Poverty, Participation and Democracy: A Global Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Active Social Capital: Tracing the Roots of Development and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2002); Changing Policy and Practice From Below: Community Experiences in Poverty Reduction (United Nations Press, 2000); Reasons for Success: Learning From Instructive Experiences in Rural Development (Kumarian Press, 1998), and Reasons for Hope: Instructive Experiences in Rural Development (Kumarian Press, 1997).Before turning to academia, Krishna worked for 14 years in the Indian Administrative Service, where he managed diverse initiatives related to rural and urban development. He earned a Ph.D. in government from Cornell University (2000) and a master's in economics from the Delhi  School of Economics (1980).


  • Ph.D., Cornell University 2000
  • M.A., Delhi School of Economics 1980
  • B.A., University of Delhi (India) 1978

Krishna, A. The Broken Ladder.: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Full Text

Krishna, A. Active Social Capital Tracing the Roots of Development and Democracy. Columbia University Press, June 19, 2012.

Krishna, A. One Illness Away.: Oxford University Press, August 26, 2010. Full Text

Krishna, A. Poverty, Participation, and Democracy A Global Perspective. Cambridge University Press, July 21, 2008.

Poverty, Participation, and Democracy.: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Full Text

Krishna, A, Uphoff, NT, and Esman, MJ. Reasons for Hope Instructive Experiences in Rural Development. 1997.

Krishna, A, and Nolan, S. "Synthetic Fathers and Real Consequences: Social Mobility Research in Transition(Published online)." The Journal of Development Studies 55.4 (April 3, 2019): 737-742. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Subjective Assessments, Participatory Methods, and Poverty Dynamics." Poverty Dynamics.: Oxford University Press. January 22, 2009. 183-202. Full Text

Krishna, A, and Booth, JA. "Conclusion: Implications for Policy and Research." Poverty, Participation, and Democracy.: Cambridge University Press.. 147-160. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Introduction: Poor People and Democracy." Poverty, Participation, and Democracy.: Cambridge University Press.. 1-27. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Do Poor People Care Less for Democracy? Testing Individual-Level Assumptions with Individual-Level Data from India." Poverty, Participation, and Democracy.: Cambridge University Press.. 65-93. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Politics in the middle: mediating relationships between the citizens and the state in rural North India." Patrons, Clients, and Policies.: Cambridge University Press.. 141-158. Full Text

Krishna, A, and Agarwal, S. "Promoting Social Mobility in India." Journal of South Asian Development 12.3 (December 2017): 236-258. Full Text

Sen, K. "Rags to riches? Intergenerational occupational mobility in India." Economic and Political Weekly 52.44 (November 4, 2017): 107-114. (Review)

"Demonetization in India: One more rock in the river." Current History 116.789 (April 1, 2017): 154-156. (Review)

Krishna, A. "The urban-rural gap and the dilemma of governance." Current History 114.775 (January 1, 2015): 291-297.

Krishna, A, Sriram, MS, and Prakash, P. "Slum types and adaptation strategies: identifying policy-relevant differences in Bangalore." Environment and Urbanization 26.2 (October 2014): 568-585. Full Text

"The Gradient of Governance: Distance and Disengagement in Indian Villages." Journal of Development Studies 50.6 (January 1, 2014): 820-838. Full Text

"Making it in india examining social mobility in three walks of life." Economic and Political Weekly 48.49 (December 7, 2013): 38-49.

Krishna, A. "Stuck in Place: Investigating Social Mobility in 14 Bangalore Slums." Journal of Development Studies 49.7 (July 2013): 1010-1028. Full Text


Selected Grants

Social Networks, Property Rights and Public Services in the Slums of Patna and Jaipur awarded by International Growth Centre (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2017

Organizing Voluntary Action in Support of Poverty Reduction awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2001 to 2002