Carla Suarez is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where she holds both the Killam Memorial Fund and the Social Science and Humanities Research (SSHRC) fellowships. Working at the intersections of comparative politics and international relations, her research focuses on questions of governance in armed conflicts, repertories of violence and extraction by armed actors, and international interventions.
She is currently drafting a book manuscript that examines the relations between civilians and armed actors in ‘ungovernable landscapes.’ Through an in-depth study of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), she shows how state and non-state armed actors exercise authority by regulating socio-economic activities through alternating governance arrangements. She uses political ethnography, involving eight months of field observations and over 150 interviews, to understand how civilians negotiate and influence these governance arrangements. She advances a conceptual framework that highlights the temporal aspects of civilian agency, arguing that civilian responses are shaped by past, present, and possible future configurations with armed actors.
For the past ten years, she has been working in conflict and post-conflict countries. Her work has taken her to northern Uganda (2005 & 2006), South Africa (2006), Guatemala (2008), Peru (2008), South Sudan (2013) and the eastern DRC (2014 & 2015). She previously worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Public Safety Canada, and the International Development Research Centre.
Suarez, C. (2017). ‘Living between Two Lions’: Civilian Protection Strategies during Armed Violence in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, 12(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.