Bio (Nergis Canefe)

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Nergis Canefe


Associate Faculty


Humanitarian Studies


Nergis Canefe is a Turkish-Canadian scholar of public international law, comparative politics, forced migration studies and critical human rights. Her areas of interest are memories of atrocities and injustice and the way they shape the notion of citizenship for marginalized groups, critical studies of human rights, genocide and crimes against humanity, the relationship between nationalism and minority rights in the Balkans and the Middle East, forced migration, and debates on ethics in international law pertaining to mass political violence.


Canefe has more than twenty years of experience in carrying out in-depth qualitative research with displaced communities and teaching human rights and public law globally. Her research experience includes working with the Muslim and Jewish diasporas in Europe and North America, refugees and displaced peoples in Turkey, Cyprus, India, Uganda, South Africa, Bosnia and Colombia. In the field of legal studies, she is specialized in international public law, with particular emphasis on state accountability and state criminality. She has held posts in several European and Turkish Universities and is currently a faculty member at York University, Canada. Professor Canefe is also a trained artist and her designs and murals have been showcased regularly since 2008.


Canefe holds a SJD (Doctorate in Law) from Osgoode Hall Law School, a Ph.D, Department of Social and Political Thought from York University, an Master of Arts, Department of Sociology from State University of New York, and has completed Master of Arts course-work, Department of History (Ottoman History specialization) at Bo?azici University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts with special honours, Department of Sociology from Boğaziçi University.


Canefe has penned close to 100 scholarly articles and several books, including:

Transitional Justice and Forced Migration (edited volume, 2019, Cambridge University Press)

The Syrian Exodus (monograph, 2018, Bilgi University)

The Jewish Diaspora as a Paradigm: Politics, Religion and Belonging (edited volume, 2014, Libra Press–Jewish Studies Series)

Milliyetcilik, Kimlik ve Aidiyet (monograph, 2006, Nationalism, Identity and Belonging], Istanbul: Bilgi University Publishing House)

Turkey and European Integration: Accession Prospects and Issues (2004, edited volume in collaboration with Mehmet Ugur, Routledge).

Universal Jurisdiction: A Critical Debate on Crimes against Humanity (University of Manchester International Law Series, forthcoming).

She is also working on a volume on Unorthodox Minorities in the Middle East and Comparative Politics of Administrative Law in the Middle East.

Her scholarly work appeared in Nations and Nationalism, Citizenship Studies, New Perspectives, Refugee Watch, Refuge, South East European Studies, Peace Review, Middle Eastern Law and Governance, Journal of International Human Rights, and Narrative Politics.