National University of Singapore
Associate Professor of Political Science
Email Robert Woodberry
Bob Woodberry’s research looks at the long-term impact of missionaries and different colonial governments on education, economic development and democracy in post-colonial societies. Other research interests include the spread of religious liberty, the international diffusion of social movements, religious influences on political institutions and the economy, religious attitudes of elites, religious tolerance, conservative Protestants, and measuring religious groups on surveys.
With grants from Lilly, NSF, SSSR, RRA, and ASR, he is constructing a dataset of virtually all Protestant and Catholic missionary activity from 1813 to 1968. This includes data about most formal education and medical work in the nonwestern world during this period. Because the data are spatially located, they can be adjusted to match any modern national or provincial boundaries. He is also collecting data on missionary death rates to determine how life expectancies of Europeans in the colonies influenced investment patterns and levels of colonial abuses.