Faranak Miraftab: Developments: Rethinking Local and Global in Community Development Processe

International Studies in Planning Spring 2012

Faranak Miraftab is an associate professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign. Her scholarship crosses terrains of several fields including planning, geography, development, and transnational studies. It seeks to understand the global and local contingencies of community development and grassroots processes involved in the formation of the city and citizens’ struggle to access urban space and socio-economic resources. Three interconnected themes are key to her research: emerging trends in governance and the ways in which the state-society relations are managed and governed; community-based activism and the ways in which grassroots mobilize to claim their right to urban livelihood and resources; and transnational and trans-local practices and processes that shape globalization from below. Miraftab’s empirical work is ethnographically grounded in the experience of disadvantaged communities in Latin America (Mexico and Chile), Africa (South Africa and Togo), and the U.S. At the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements she has served as a consultant to the Gender and Habitat Program and the Community Development Program. A native of Iran, she received her undergraduate education at the Tehran University; her master’s degree in architecture at the Norwegian Institute of Technology; and her Ph.D. at the University of California–Berkeley.