Office 211, Liu Institute for Global Issues



Dr. Carla Suarez is a Killam Memorial Fund and Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) post-doctoral fellow at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. Her main research interests are on the micro-dynamics and processes of armed violence, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Carla’s current research project examines the role that social ties—family, friends and community members—play in influencing combatants to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate back into their communities in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Carla completed her doctorate in Political Science at Dalhousie University in 2017. Her dissertation examined the varied social, economic and political relations among civilians and armed actors in two communities in the eastern DRC. Specifically, she analyzed how these relations evolved alongside fluctuating armed conflict dynamics. Through a political ethnography, she uncovered the nuanced ways individuals constitute and practice “order” amid instability and unpredictability. Her dissertation was supported by the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.

Prior to beginning her doctorate, Carla worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Public Safety Canada, and the International Development Research Centre. She has been working in conflict and post-conflict countries for over ten years. Her work has taken her to northern Uganda (2005 & 2006), South Africa (2006), Guatemala (2008), Peru (2008), South Sudan (2013) and most recently the eastern DRC (2014 & 2015).


Suarez, C. (2017). ‘Living between Two Lions’: Civilian Protection Strategies during Armed Violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development12(3), 54-67.

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.