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Maissaa Almustafa

Lecturer, Political Science, University of Waterloo

Dr. Maissaa Almustafa is a Lecturer at the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. Her primary research interests are on the forcibly displaced. She focuses on their lived experiences as refugees and the politics of marginalization that govern their lives in the Middle East and in their diasporic communities in Europe and Canada. Her scholarship is enhanced by her active involvement in community outreach initiatives in refugee resettlement and integration. Maissaa earned her Ph.D. in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo ON. She recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Glendon Political Science at York University, Toronto, were she joined the Whole-COMM, a research project on migrant integration in Europe and Canada, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020. Her publications and research focus on lived experiences of refugees and the politics of marginalization that govern their lives in the Middle East and in their diasporic communities in Europe and Canada. In her doctoral research, “Refugees from Syria caught between war and borders: A journey towards protection,” which received the Award for Outstanding Graduate Work, she examines the governance structures of refugee protection and the encounters between exclusionary bordering practices and refugees’ agency during their displacement. The findings of her research appeared in leading journals. Dr. Almustafa is currently working towards the publication of her book “Contemporary Narratives of Exile: Rethinking Refugee Protection Worldwide” which is based on her dissertation research, with Wilfrid Laurier Press.


  • 2023–present
    Lecturer, University of Waterloo
  • 2021–2023
    Postdoctoral fellow, Glendon College, York University
  • 2021–2023
    Adjunct Professor,, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • 2019–2020
    Research associate, University of Waterloo
  • 2013–2019
    Research assistant, Wilfrid Laurier University


  • 2019 
    Wilfrid Laurier University , Ph.D. in Global Governance
  • 2013 
    Wilfrid Laurier University , Master of International Public Policy
  • 2013 
    Damascus University , Bachelor of Science in Economics
  • 2009 
    The Open University (UK), Post Graduate Diploma, Professional Management


  • 2021
    Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Reframing Refugee Crisis: A European Crisis of Migration or a Crisis of Protection
  • 2018
    Social and Legal Studies, “Relived vulnerability of Palestinian refugees: Governing through exclusion

Grants and Contracts

  • 2022
    Transatlantic Community PolicyLAB and Small and Medium Sized Towns and Rural Areas Speaker Serie
    Funding Source:
  • 2022
    Glendon Research Grant
    Funding Source:
    York University

Professional Memberships

  • Associate Research Fellow, Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research
  • Research Fellow, Balsillie School of International Affairs
  • Research Affiliate, International Migration Research Centre (IMRC)