Chandan Deuskar Receives the Best Book in the Field of Urban Affairs Award

Chandan Deuskar, Ph.D. (World Bank) was selected as the recipient of the 2023 Best Book in the Field of Urban Affairs Award for Urban Planning in a World of Informal Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022). 

This annual award is given to a book that is well-written and based on rigorous research on an urban issue(s) within any national context. Sixty-one (61) books were nominated this year from several different disciplines and covering a wide range of urban topics.


“The winning book addresses clientelism, which is the relationship between politicians and residents of informal developments over resources granted in exchange for votes. There is a tension between planners who seek equity and transparency in their work, with the politics of informal developments served by clientelism.

The book recommends that planners shift their approach to work within the politics which guide so much of informal development. This book is both timely and challenging. It addresses how planners and policymakers approach the construction and placement of informal settlements, which is the dominant form of urban growth in the Global South, and the book calls for a significant rethinking of how urban planners view their roles in the development process.”


Kirk McClure, University of Kansas (Chair); Laura Dedenbach, University of Florida; Robert Pfaff, Cleveland State University; Erin Rugland, University of Oxford; Deden Rukmana, Alabama A&M University


Chandan Deuskar completed his PhD in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania in 2020. His doctoral research examined the impact of informal politics on urban growth and urban planning in the Global South. His book on this topic, Urban Planning in a World of Informal Politics, was published by Penn Press in 2022. Chandan now works as an urban specialist at the World Bank, where he also worked for several years prior to his doctoral studies. His current work at the World Bank focuses on climate change mitigation and adaptation in cities. Chandan holds a master’s degree in city planning from MIT and a BA in architecture from Columbia University. Raised in Mumbai, India, he currently lives in Washington, DC.


The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is an international professional organization for 700+ urban scholars, researchers, policy analysts, & public service providers. UAA is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life. Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world.

In addition to hosting an annual conference, UAA sponsors ongoing professional development opportunities; Upsilon Sigma: The Urban Studies Honor Society; and two peer-reviewed journals, the Journal of Urban Affairs and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity and the City. You can find UAA on the web, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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