James Christopher Mizes is a scholar of urban planning, politics, and policy, and conducts ethnographic research on infrastructural and financial politics in West African cities. His research makes a conceptual contribution to the social-scientific scholarship on sovereignty, government, and expertise at the urban (and continental) scale.
He recently finished his PhD at the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) at the University of California, Berkeley, and is now a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Sciences Sociales (IRISSO) at the Université Paris-Dauphine, Paris Sciences et Lettres. This research is titled "Continental Planning: Pan-Africanism and the Infrastructures of High Finance." It is funded by the Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société (IFRIS), a program in the field of science and technology studies.
He is also currently working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled Communal Autonomy: The Politics of Public Finance in a Democratic Dakar. In this research, he analyzes the emergence of municipal authority in Senegal, and the political disputes surrounding the transformation of this authority today. He develops theoretical insights from science and technology studies and postcolonial studies to reconsider how planners and social scientists have hereto understood municipal government and the rescaling of statehood in and beyond urban Africa.