Fonna Forman is Associate Professor of Political Science and Founding Director of the Center on Global Justice at the University of California, San Diego. A political theorist best known for her revisionist research on Adam Smith, her work focuses on recuperating the ethical, spatial and public dimensions of his thought. Since 2009 she has served as Editor of the Adam Smith Review, the premier international journal of Smith’s thought.
Forman’s work engages the intersection of ethics, public culture, urban policy and the city – with a special focus on border ethics, climate justice and equitable urbanization. Forman partners closely with UCSD Visual Arts Professor and architect, Teddy Cruz, leading a variety of urban and public research agendas in the San Diego-Tijuana border region and beyond. From 2012-14 they served as special advisors on civic and urban initiatives for the City of San Diego and led the development of its Civic Innovation Lab. Together they lead the UCSD Community Stations, a network of field stations across the border region, designed for collaborative research and pedagogy on poverty, environmental justice and social equity.
Forman also partners closely with renowned UCSD-Scripps climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan on the social impacts of climate change, including serving as Vice Chair of the 2015 University of California Bending the Curve report on climate change solutions; papers on “climate migration” and ‘climate justice’ for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences / Social Sciences (Vatican); and several high-profile policy collaborations on climate change solutions and climate education.
Forman is an advocate for engaged social science, and university-community research partnerships. From 2014-2018, Forman was appointed by British PM Gordon Brown to the Global Citizenship Commission, advising UN policy on human rights in the 21st century.
Research Interests: Political theory, Adam Smith studies, Climate justice, Participatory urbanisation and public space, Borders and citizenship, Public culture.