Isadora Cruxên
PhD Candidate | MIT


I’m a PhD candidate in Urban Planning and International Development in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I study the political economy of development, with a focus on the role of state-market relations in shaping economic and political development broadly and urban governance in particular. I am interested in how these relations are constituted historically, their social and spatial repercussions, and how they shape possibilities for more equitable and sustainable development.

My current work engages debates on the role of finance in development, state effectiveness, and the provision of urban infrastructure services, with a regional focus on Latin America. My dissertation, Disordering Capital, examines the relationship between financialization and the local politics of service delivery through a historical and comparative subnational analysis of the water and sanitation market in Brazil. Some of my other research interests and experience include work on democratic institutions, participatory planning, social movements, and gender politics.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Brasília and a Master in City Planning from MIT. Prior to coming to MIT, I was a research fellow at the Institute for Applied Economic Research in Brazil. At MIT, I’m affiliated with the City Infrastructure Equity Lab (CIEL) and the Data+Feminism Lab. I was a leading member of MIT Water for two years, including serving as Co-Vice President. I also co-edited the 14th edition of Projections, the journal of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Titled "New uses for old rivers", the edition assembled contributions exploring political, economic, and social processes shaping river restoration and waterfront redevelopment projects in cities across the globe.

A native of Brasília, Brazil, I’m passionate about photography, sports, and literature.

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