Carla Suarez

PhD Candidate


Carla Suarez is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at Dalhousie University. Her current research focus is the micro-dynamics of violence during and after armed conflict. She is particularly interested in the different ways non-state armed groups organize themselves, the territories they control, and their relations with civilians. Based on eight months of field research in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), her dissertation explores civilian agency in the context of rebel governance. Drawing upon narrative approaches, she captures and dissects the different logics and rationalities that civilians employ to guide their actions during this period.

As a CFPS doctoral fellow, Carla co-organized two major workshops: “Surviving Violence: Comparative Perspectives (2012) funded by IDRC & SSHRC; and, the Sixth Annual Graduate Symposium, “Security & Conflict: Evolving Theory and Practice”, (2011), funded by DND. Prior to beginning her PhD, Carla worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Public Safety Canada, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). She has been working in conflict and post-conflict countries for the past ten years. Her work has taken her to northern Uganda (2005 & 2006), South Africa (2006-2007), Guatemala (2008), Peru (2008), South Sudan (2013) and most recently the eastern DRC (2014, 2015). Carla is currently based out of Toronto, Ontario.

Current Curriculum Vitae

Major Scholarships

  • Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, Writing Scholarship ($30,000), 2015                                      
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Michael Smith Travel Supplement ($10,000), 2014    
  • Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, Doctoral Scholarship ($180,000), 2012-2014                           
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship ($105,000), 2011-2013

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed

Suarez, E. B., & Suarez, C. (2015). The memorialisation of narratives and sites among indigenous women in Ayacucho: resilience in the aftermath of mass violence and atrocities. Resilience, 1-18.

Suarez, C., & Black, D. (2014). Surviving Violence: Transgressing Categories and Boundaries in Armed Conflicts. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 3(1), Art-26.

Edited Collections

Suarez, C., & Black, D. (Eds.). (2014). Special Collection Surviving Violence: The Politics of (Self) Protection. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development.

Suarez, C. (Ed.). (2011). Security and Conflict: Evolving Theory and Practice. Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, Dalhousie University.

Selected Presentations

Academic Conferences

European Conference of African Studies. Paper presented: Hybrid Governance between the State and Non-State Armed Groups: Civilian Perspectives on Power in the DRC. Paris, France, July 2015.

International Studies Association, Annual Meeting. Paper presented: The (Mis)use of Human Rights: Voice, Images and Representations from Northern Uganda. San Diego, California. April 2012.

Canadian Political Science Association, Annual Meeting. Paper presented: Crossing the Bridge: From Combatant to Community Member, Waterloo, Ontario. May 2011.