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Isabelle Côté

Isabelle CôtéAssistant Professor
Department of Political Science, Science Building
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 Canada
Phone:  (709) 864-8174
Email:  icote[at]mun[dot]ca (or search here)


BA. Hons (Glendon College, York University), MA, PhD (University of Toronto)

Areas for Student Research Supervision

  • Ethnic Conflict and Civil Wars
  • Contentious politics
  • Political Demography
  • China and Southeast Asia
  • Migration

Dr Côté studies how internal population movements are related to political mobilization, ethnic conflict, and violence in East and Southeast Asia. In particular, she is interested in recent violent conflicts between ‘native’ populations and internal migrants–i.e. ‘Sons of the Soil’ (SoS) conflict— in authoritarian China and newly democratizing Indonesia. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) in Leiden, Netherlands, in 2014-2015, she examined the emerging role of sub-state actors (e.g. provinces, states or municipalities) in regulating population movements around the world. She is currently working on a number of projects on migration/security, including one on the impact of internal migration on resource conflicts, and another on indigenous peace processes. She is also interested in comparing the Asian experience in respect to migration and conflict to that of other regions, including Africa, India or Latin America.

Selected Publications
Refereed Journal Articles
Côté, Isabelle and Matthew Mitchell (forthcoming) “Deciphering Sons of the Soil Conflicts: a critical survey of the literature”, Accepted for publication in Ethnopolitics (DOI: 10.1080/17449057.2015.1089050)

Côté, Isabelle (2015) “Horizontal inequalities and Sons of the Soil conflict in China”, Civil Wars 17(3): 357-378.

Côté, Isabelle and Matthew Mitchell (forthcoming) “Elections and Sons of the Soil conflict dynamics in Africa and Asia”. Democratization.

Côté, Isabelle (2015) “The enemies within: Targeting Han and Hui migrants in Xinjiang”, Asian Ethnicity 16(2): 136-151.

Barter, Shane Joshua and Isabelle Côté (2015) “Strife of the Soil? Unsettling transmigrant conflicts in Indonesia”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 46(1): 60-85 [cover feature].

Côté, Isabelle (2014) ‘Internal migration and the politics of place: a comparative analysis of China and Indonesia’, Asian Ethnicity 15(1):111-129.

Côté, Isabelle (2013) “Fieldwork in the age of social network: opportunities and challenges”, PS: Political Science and Politics 46(3): 615-619.

Côté, Isabelle, Malena Rosen Sundström and Anders Sannerstedt (2013) 'The state of the debate: a media analysis of the debates on citizenship education in France, Sweden and the UK, 2001-2010', Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 8: 215-228

Côté, Isabelle (2011) ‘The political mobilization of a regional minority: the Han Chinese settlers in Xinjiang’, Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(11): 1855-1873.

Book Chapter
Côté, Isabelle (2012) ‘Autonomy and ethnic diversity: the case of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China’ in Michael Keating and Alain G. Gagnon [eds] Political Autonomy and Divided Societies: Imagining Democratic Alternatives in Complex Settings, Palgrave Macmillan: New York, pp.171-184.

Other Publications
Côté, Isabelle (2012) ‘The State of the debate: a media analysis of the debates on citizenship education in France, 1996-2010’. As part of the research project Fostering citizenship? The Education System, Norms and the Dilemma of the Liberal State, Lund University. Available at:

Côté, Isabelle (2010) ‘Fostering citizenship? The Education system, norms and the dilemma of the liberal state. Report on the situation in France’. Part of the research project Fostering citizenship? (see above).