Jennifer C. Franco is a research associate in the Agrarian and Environmental Justice as well as the 'Myanmar in Focus' Programmes of TNI, and an adjunct professor at the College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD) of the China Agricultural University in Beijing.
She is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) Alumnae Group, sits on the board of ACKnowl-EJ (Academic-Activist Co-Produced Knowledge for Environmental Justice), serves on the editorial advisory board of the journal Environment and Planning -- E: Nature and Space, and on the editorial board of Journal of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society.
She has a PhD in political science, and works in a scholar-activist tradition. Her original and continuing research interest is on the role of rural politics in broader democratisation processes, and specifically the role of deep social reforms of agrarian structures and institutions and agrarian movements in these political processes.
Her continuing action research and political work are focused on the politics of natural resources (land, water, seas and forests) and agrarian movement building and mobilisation. In this work, food politics and the struggle for food sovereignty are central, and within these themes her specific contribution is on the politics of natural resources, with specific focus on land.
She has ongoing work on the intersection of climate change politics (mitigation and adaptation), and how these intersect with resource grabbing, that in turn provoke old and new conflicts. She also has ongoing work on global governance instruments and principles (human rights, accountability mechanisms, and so on), law and justice, as well as conflict resolution mechanisms, and how all these are interpreted and implemented in politically contested processes.
She has carried out work at international civil society platforms and spaces and in several countries over the years, and especially in Myanmar in recent years where she is currently doing work on land policy and politics as a team member of the TNI 'Myanmar in Focus' Programme.
Her academic and non-academic publications include popular primers and journal articles and co-edited journal special issues on these topics, including several articles on land grabbing, conflict and justice, biofuels, Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC), transnational agrarian movements, among others. She guest edited (with L. Mehta and G.J. Veldwisch) a special issue of Water Alternatives on water grabbing.
She published two monographs: Elections and Democratization in the Philippines (Routledge) and Bound by Law: Filipino Rural Poor and the Search for Justice in a Plural-Legal Landscape (Ateneo University Press; University of Hawaii Press), the latter was a finalist for the National Book Awards (Social Sciences) in the Philippines.
She has published in major academic journals including Journal of Agrarian Change, Journal of Peasant Studies, World Development, Journal of Development Studies, Critical Asian Studies, Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Current Issues in Environmental Sustainability, Globalizations, Third World Quarterly, and the Canadian Journal of Development Studies.
She has continuing interest and initiatives in further developing some key activist ideas that she helped conceptualize together with other collaborators, such as 'flex crops', 'agrarian climate justice', 'land sovereignty', and 'land and food sovereignty.'