Research Themes

The Kellogg Institute for International Studies is committed to the pursuit of scholarly excellence and to value-driven research that helps to advance human welfare around the world.

Two of the most critical issues facing humanity, democracy and human development, are at the core of the Institute’s research agenda. Of particular interest are research projects that explicitly link the themes of democracy and human development.


The broad umbrella of democracy studies includes research on:

Human Development

As conceptualized at the Kellogg Institute, “human development” focuses on understanding and promoting the conditions that allow people to participate in shaping their own futures, while living in dignity and freedom.

Research on this theme includes:

Kellogg has long followed a strategy of identifying a few themes of exceptional importance to our world. Through a year-long strategic planning process, the Institute recently rearticulated its research themes.

Going forward, we aim to integrate the five themes that have long been central to the Institute by placing democracy and human development at the core of our efforts. While building on geographic strengths in Latin America and increasingly in Africa, this framing allows Kellogg to engage energetically in these themes across the globe, particularly in the developing world.

Democracy and human development—the twin aspirations of effective political participation and improved human welfare—are two of the most critical and challenging issues facing humanity in the 21st century. These two themes resonate with the normative questions that inspire our Catholic university and both have long been central themes in the Church’s teachings about human dignity.