The Working Group on Poverty, Violence, and Development (PVD) brings together MIT political science faculty and graduate students engaged in theoretically motivated empirical research on these key themes. This group meets to discuss work-in-progress, providing feedback and ongoing support at all stages of research, from idea generation, to research design, to implementation, to final analysis of results. We value both quantitative and qualitative research, using creative new sources of observational and experimental data.
Most of our research employs some micro-level (textual, individual, or locality) data to generate inferences about substantively important social and political processes. While recognizing the importance of material incentives, our investigations consider multiple sources of human motivation, including informal and formal institutional constraints, concerns about social relations, influential networks, ideology, and group-based orientations, as the basis for political action.
Members of this group work across the developing regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. We regularly partner with practitioners and governments to carry out our research, and take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities available at MIT.
Faculty members regularly collaborate with graduate students on related research projects.