Isabelle Cote

Associate Professor

SN 2044
Department of Political Science, Science Building
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 Canada

Telephone: (709) 864-8174
Email: icote[at]mun[dot]ca


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

Examples of Recent Courses Taught

POSC 2300 Comparative Politics
POSC 3290 Human Security
POSC 3295 Migration and Security
POSC 4325 Asian Politics
POSC 4360 Contentious Politics
POSC 6000 Political Concepts and Approaches


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 Emma Huang (forthcoming) “Where are the Daughters in “Sons of the Soil” Conflict? Examining the Effects of Gendered Migration on Violent Conflict”, accepted for publication in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism.

Côté, Isabelle (forthcoming) “Researching violent conflicts using comparative multi-sites fieldwork”, accepted for publication in Sage Research Methods Case.

Côté, Isabelle and Matthew I. Mitchell (2018) “The Far North Act in Ontario: A ‘Sons of the Soil’ Conflict in the Making?”, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics 56(2): 139-156.

Côté, Isabelle and Matthew I. Mitchell (2017) “Deciphering Sons of the Soil Conflicts: a critical survey of the literature”, Ethnopolitics 16(4): 333-351.

Côté, Isabelle and Matthew I. Mitchell (2016) “Elections and Sons of the Soil conflict dynamics in Africa and Asia”. Democratization 23(4): 657-677.

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

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, Matthew I. Mitchell and Monica Duffy Toft [eds] (2019) People Changing Places: New Perspectives on Demography, Migration, Conflict and the State. Routledge.

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).