Abdiasis Issa

PhD in Global Governance

Abdiasis Issa is a PhD Candidate and Doctoral Fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His research interests include United Nations and African Union peace operations, regional security governance, security regionalism and the interplay of international and regional organizations in peacebuilding, managing conflict and global governance.

His dissertation critically examines the United Nations-African Union strategic partnership for peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa. Partnership peacebuilding – broadly understood as the collaboration and cooperation between different institutions on common peace and security challenges – has been emphasized as an important approach to developing effective and durable peacebuilding strategies. His dissertation critically examines partnership peacebuilding, exploring its development, both in theory and practice, as well as the gaps, trends, and overall structures and regimes that shape it. It contributes to a growing academic discussion on the multidimensional and complex nature of peacebuilding, shaping understanding of the role that institutions and regimes play in developing a new global peacebuilding architecture. Furthermore, Abdiasis’ dissertation contributes to important policy discussions on the vitality of peacebuilding – exploring ways that it can be effective, sustainable, and robust in the face of rapidly changing geopolitical dynamics and evolving attitudes towards peacebuilding. His dissertation project is supervised by Dr. Timothy Donais, and Dr. Ann Fitz-Gerald and Dr. Alistair Edgar serve on his committee.

His other research projects include the political economy of regional integration in Africa, cities in global governance, Canadian foreign policy in Africa, and the politics within the United Nations Security Council.

Abdiasis received his MA in Political Studies at Queen’s University and completed his MA thesis on the conflict management capacity of regional organizations in the Horn of Africa under the supervision of Dr. J. Andrew Grant. He has extensive public policy experience and has done work with various think tanks, research centres and public advocacy initiatives.



  • 2021: Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Scholarship
  • 2020: Social Science and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2019: James Winkates Graduate Award
  • 2018: Balsillie Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2017: Queen’s Graduate Award

Select Publications

  • Issa, A. (Forthcoming) “Pivoting Towards Africa: Improving Canada’s Engagement with a Growing and Strategically Important Continent.”
  • Issa, A. (Forthcoming). “ATMIS and Peacebuilding: Effective Strategies for Sustaining Peace in Somalia.” RAAD Institute.
  • Grant, J. Andrew , Issa, A., Söderbaum, F., and Yusuf, B. (Forthcoming). “Regionalism Beyond State-Centrism.” International Journal.
  • Grant, J. A., Issa, A., & Yusuf, B. (2021). “Agential Constructivism, Shadow Regionalisms and Interregional Dynamics in The Horn of Africa.” In Elisa Lopez Lucia and Frank Mattheis, eds. The Unintended Consequences of Interregionalism (pp. 165-184). New York: Routledge.
  • Grant, J. Andrew , Issa, A., Söderbaum, F., and Yusuf, B. (2020). Regionalism (formal and informal). In Falola, Toyin and Emmanual Mbah (Eds.). Routledge Encyclopedia of African Studies. New York: Routledge.
  • Benish, J., Forsyth, K., Issa, A., & Vargas, S. (2019). The Future of Peacekeeping. Strengthening the Rules-Based International Order. Balsillie School of International Affairs/Global Affairs Canada.
  • Rayale, S., Issa, A., Aden, M., and Abokor, L., (2018). Another Day, Another Janazah: An Investigation into Violence, Homicide and Somali-Canadian Youth in Ontario. Toronto: Youth LEAPS.


  • Master of Arts, Political Studies. Queen’s University. 2018
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Political Science with Research Specialization and Co-Op. Wilfrid Laurier University. 2017
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