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

Krishna, A. "Rural-urban inequality and poverty." Inequality in Economics and Sociology: New Perspectives. July 6, 2017. 162-173. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Poverty knowledge and poverty action in India." The State in India after Liberalization: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. September 28, 2010. 111-132. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Subjective Assessments, Participatory Methods, and Poverty Dynamics." Poverty Dynamics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. May 1, 2009. Full Text

Krishna, A, and Booth, JA. "Conclusion: Implications for policy and research." Poverty, Participation, and Democracy. January 1, 2008. 147-160. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Introduction: Poor people and democracy." Poverty, Participation, and Democracy. January 1, 2008. 1-27. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Politics in the middle: Mediating relationships between the citizens and the state in rural North India." Patrons, Clients, and Policies: Patterns of Democratic Accountability and Political Competition. January 1, 2007. 141-158. Full Text

Krishna, A. "Globalised Growth in Largely Agrarian Contexts: The Urban–Rural Divide." Esid Working Paper 101 (September 10, 2018).

Krishna, A, and Agarwal, S. "Promoting Social Mobility in India: Modes of Action and Types of Support Organizations." Journal of South Asian Development 12.3 (December 1, 2017): 236-258. Full Text

Krishna, A, and Agarwal, S. "Promoting Social Mobility in India." 12.3 (December 2017): 236-258.

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

Krishna, A. "Should Rich Nations Help the Poor?." Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 18.4 (October 2, 2017): 531-532. Full Text

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

Krishna, A, and Bajpai, D. "Layers in globalising society and the new middle class in India: Trends, distribution and prospects." Economic and Political Weekly 50.5 (January 31, 2015): 69-77.

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


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