Suzan Ilcan

Suzan Ilcan is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Her research covers themes at the interface of global governance, humanitarian and development aid, and migration studies, including: humanitarian aid and refugees, citizenship rights and social justice, and the politics of poverty and development.  

She is the author of Longing in Belonging: The Cultural Politics of Settlement (Praeger, 2002) and co-author of Governing the Poor: Exercises of Poverty Reduction, Practices of Global Aid (with Anita Lacey, MQUP, 2011) and Issues in Social Justice: Citizenship and Transnational Struggles (with Tanya Basok, OUP, 2013). She is editor of Mobilities, Knowledge, and Social Justice (MQUP, 2013). 

Professor Ilcan's most recent SSHRC-funded project (2015-2019) is on "Humanitarian Aid, Citizenship Politics, and the Governance of Syrian Refugees in Turkey”. The project examines aid and emergency responses to forced migrant populations, with a focus on precarity, differential inclusion, and citizenship politics involving Syrian refugees in Turkey and other European countries. With project investigators, Feyzi Baban (Trent University) and Kim Rygiel (BSIA, Wilfrid Laurier University), she is co-authoring a book on this research. 

Suzan Ilcan is co-editor of the journal Studies in Social Justice and serves as an editorial board member of the Journal of Namibian Studies and the journal Globalizations, and a consulting editor of the Canadian Review of Sociology.  



  1. Gabay, C. and S. Ilcan, Eds 2017 "Leaving no one behind? The politics of destination in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals" Globalizations 17 (2)
  2. Gabay, C. and S. Ilcan 2017 "The affective politics of the Sustainable Development Goals: Partnership, capacity-building, and big data" Globalizations 17 (2)
  3. Baban, F., S. Ilcan, and K. Rygiel 2017 "Syrian refugees in Turkey: Pathways to precarity, differential inclusion, and negotiated citizenship rights" Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43 (1): 41-57
  4. Ilcan, S., M. Oliver, and L. Connoy 2017 "Humanitarian Assistance, Refugee Management, and Self-Reliance Schemes: Nakivale Refugee Settlement" Transnational Social Policy – Social Support in a World on the Move Edited by Luann Good-Gingrich and Stefan Köngeter 152-177 London and New York: Routledge
  5. O’Connor, D., P. Boyle, S. Ilcan and M. Oliver 2016 "Living with Insecurity” Food Security, Resilience, and the World Food Programme" Global Social Policy Published Online (29 July, 1-18pp)
  6. Rygiel, K., F. Baban and S. Ilcan 2016 "The Syrian Refugee Crisis: The EU-Turkey ‘Deal’ and Temporary Protection" Global Social Policy 16 (3): 315-320
  7. Ilcan, S. and K. Rygiel 2015 "'Resiliency Humanitarianism': Responsibilizing Refugees through Humanitarian Emergency Governance in the Camp" International Political Sociology 9: 333-351
  8. Ilcan, S. and A. Lacey 2015 "Enacting the Millennium Development Goals: Political Technologies of Calculation and the Counter-calculation of Poverty in Namibia" Globalizations Forthcoming
  9. Lacey, A. and S. Ilcan 2015 "Tourism for development and the new global aid regime" Global Social Policy 15(1):1 40-60
  10. Ilcan, S 2014 "Activist Citizenship and the Politics of Mobility in Osire Refugee Camp" Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies In Engin Isin and Peter Nyers, Eds London: Routledge
  11. D. O'Connor, K. Brisson-Boivin, and S. Ilcan 2014 "Governing Failure: Development, Aid, and Audit in Haiti" Conflict, Security and Development 14 (3): 309- 330
  12. Ilcan, S 2013 Mobilities, Knowledge, and Social Justice Edited by S. Ilcan Montreal and London: McGill-Queen's University Press 519 pages
  13. Ilcan, S 2013 "Paradoxes of Humanitarian Aid: Mobile Populations, Biopolitical Knowledge, and Acts of Social Justice in Osire Refugee Camp" Mobilities, Knowledge, and Social Justice. S. Ilcan, Ed. Montreal and London: McGill-Queen's University Press
  14. Basok, T., and S. Ilcan 2013 Issues in Social Justice: Citizenship, and Transnational Struggles Toronto: Oxford University Press. 202 pages
  15. Ilcan, S. and R. Aitken 2012 "Postwar World Order, Displaced Persons, and Biopolitical Management" Globalizations 9(5): 623-636
  16. Ilcan, S. and A. Lacey 2011 Governing the Poor: Exercises of Poverty Reduction, Practices of Global Aid Montreal and London: McGill-Queen's University Press 336 pages
  17. Ilcan, S. and R. Aitken 2011 "United Nations and Early Postwar Development: Assembling World Order" Reading Sociology: Canadian Perspectives In L. Tepperman and A. Kalyta (Eds.) In L Tepperman and A Kalyta (Eds) Toronto: Oxford University Press Toronto: Oxford University Press
  18. Ilcan, S. and L. Phillips 2010 "Developmentalities and Calculative Practices: The Millennium Development Goals" Antipode 42(4): 844-874
  19. Ilcan, S 2009 "Privatizing Responsibility: Public Sector Reform under Neoliberal Government." Canadian Review of Sociology 46(3): 207-234
  20. Ilcan, S. and A. Lacey 2009 "Governing through Empowerment: Oxfam's Global Reform and Trade Campaigns" Globalization and the Global Politics of Justice in Barry K. Gills, Ed 113-132 London: Routledge

Academic/Professional Awards

  1. 2015-2019. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grant Program. Project Title: "Humanitarian Aid, Citizenship Politics, and the Governance of Syrian Refugees in Turkey." With F. Baban and K. Rygiel. ($199,139).
  2. 2014 Outstanding Performance Award, University of Waterloo
  3. Canada Research Chair, 2007-2011
  4. Canada Research Chair, 2002-2006