Fonna Forman is founding co-director of the UCSD Center on Global Justice and the Blum Cross-Border Initiative, and is an affiliate of the Center for Urban Ecologies. She is a political theorist best known for her revisionist work on Adam Smith, recuperating the ethical, spatial, social and public dimensions of his political economy. Current work focuses on theories and practices of global justice as they manifest at local and regional scales, and the role of civic engagement, public space, and cross-sector collaboration in strategies of equitable and sustainable urban transformation. Present sites of investigation include Medellín, Colombia and the San Diego-Tijuana border region. She has just completed a volume of collected essays (with Amartya Sen) on critical interventions in global justice theory, and is presently writing papers on ‘municipal cosmopolitanism’ and ‘the architecture of civic freedom.’ She is co-investigating with Teddy Cruz a Ford-funded study of citizenship culture in the San Diego-Tijuana border region, in collaboration with the Bogota-based NGO, Corpovisionarios. She is a special advisor on civic and urban initiatives to the City of San Diego, and with Cruz is leading the development of its new Civic Innovation Lab.
Forman is an advocate for deepening university-community research partnerships, and currently serves on the advisory boards of the UCSD Global Health Initiative, the Urban Studies and Planning Program, IICAS, the Global Health major, the Law & Society minor; and the Thurgood Marshall College Dimensions of Culture Program. From 1999-2001 she was Assistant Editor of Political Theory, and is currently Editor of the Adam Smith Review.