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We study the relationship between human diversity, development, and dignity in the United States and around the world. Our research aims to inform scholarship, policy and practice; and we seek to train future leaders and scholars through teaching, advising, and global outreach. Our work is motivated by the observation that increasingly diverse societies face both great challenges and opportunities:

  • On the one hand, real and perceived differences of ethnicity, race, religion, and national origin continue to be the basis for bias, discrimination, and conflict. Ethnic minorities, immigrants, and refugees face hate speech, political exclusion, and violence.
  • On the other hand, some of the world’s most productive organizations and societies identify diversity as core to their success. The mixing of people from around the world – and the sharing of art, culture, and ideas — is the hallmark of the world’s most prosperous urban centers.

Ultimately, in the face of diversity, different answers to the question of “who is us” will affect global responses to the world’s most pressing problems, including the climate emergency, epidemic threat, poverty, and insecurity.

At the MIT Global Diversity Lab, we intend to distill lessons about how to harness the value of diversity and to mitigate conflict through careful social science research, informed by work in a range of disciplines.

GDL Spotlight: Jasmine English

MIT doctoral student and GDL affiliate, Jasmine English, is conducting research on politics, religion, and diversity. Her dissertation, “Dilemmas of Accommodation: Diversity and Local Church Involvement in Politics,” uncovers the dilemmas that accompany congregational diversity, and explains how churches respond to these…
MIT doctoral student and GDL affiliate, Jasmine…
low angle view of clock against sky
low angle view of clock against sky

Dispute
Resolution

GDL Faculty Affiliate Volha Charnysh will present an ongoing project, “Dispute Resolution in Heterogeneous Societies” (with Paige Bollen), at the Berkeley Comparative…
GDL Faculty Affiliate Volha Charnysh will…
brown wooden gavel on brown wooden table

Ethnic Politics
In Africa

Professor Elliot Green (London School of Economics) presented his recent CPS article, “The Politics of Ethnic Identity in Sub-Saharan Africa” at the Global…
Professor Elliot Green (London School of Economics)…
brown map on map

Refugees and
Incumbent
Support

Professor Yang-Yang Zhou (University of British Columbia) presented a working paper with Guy Grossman (University of Pennsylvania) titled “When Refugee Exposure Increases…
Professor Yang-Yang Zhou (University of British…

Climate
Adaptation
Proposal

The Global Diversity Lab, in collaboration with MIT’s Space Enabled Group and Sustainable Urbanization Lab, submitted a White Paper proposal to the…
The Global Diversity Lab, in collaboration…

Value of Dignity

In June, GDL Faculty Director Evan Lieberman presented work-in-progress on the Value of Dignity at invited talks sponsored by the WZB (Berlin)…
In June, GDL Faculty Director Evan…

New Data and
Identity Course

GDL Director Evan Lieberman, along with Faculty Associate Fotini Christia, just completed the first semester of their new undergraduate course, “Critical Perspectives…
GDL Director Evan Lieberman, along with…
code projected over woman

GDL Research
Assistants

And that’s a wrap! The Global Diversity Lab just completed the first full year of its Research Assistant program. By bringing in…
And that’s a wrap! The Global…

Race and
Policing

On Monday, May 10th, GDL Associate Asya Magazinnik presented a project on race and policing at the MIT IDSS Workshop Series on…
On Monday, May 10th, GDL Associate…

GBH Profiles
GDL Research

GDL Director Evan Lieberman was interviewed about one of his recent publications by Craig LeMoult of GBH, NPR’s local affiliate in Boston.…
GDL Director Evan Lieberman was interviewed…

MIT News Article

Recently published research by GDL Director Evan Lieberman and co-author Allison Harell was featured in MIT News. Their work examines the consequences…
Recently published research by GDL Director…
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