Skip to main content
McMaster University Menu Search

Nyers Peter, Associate Professor

photo of Peter Nyers

Peter Nyers

Associate Professor

Department of Political Science

Institute on Globalization & the Human Condition

Area(s) of Interest:


Peter Nyers is University Scholar and Associate Professor of the Politics of Citizenship and Intercultural Relations.

I teach in the area of critical security studies, international relations theory, citizenship studies, and refugee and migrant politics. My research focuses on the social movements of non-status refugees and migrants, in particular their campaigns against deportation and detention and for regularization and global mobility rights. I am particularly interested in investigating how the claims made by politicized groups of non-status people are transforming established norms about citizenship and political community. I am the author of Irregular Citizenship, Immigration, and Deportation (Routledge, forthcoming 2019) and Rethinking Refugees: Beyond States of Emergency (Routledge 2006). I have also edited several collected volumes on the politics of citizenship, most recently the Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies (Routledge 2014), which I co-edited with Engin Isin. My editorial responsibilities include being a Chief Editor of the journal Citizenship Studies and serving on the Editorial Boards of International Political Sociology, Materiali Foucaultiani (Italy), Journal of Migration Research (Turkey), and Contexto Internacional: Journal of Global Connections (Brazil).

I am active in the PhD program in International Relations and the MA programs in Globalization Studies, International Relations, and Cultural Studies & Critical Theory. I welcome PhD proposals in the following areas:

  • Critical security studies
  • Acts of citizenship
  • Politics of borders, migration, and refugees
  • Resistance to deportation and detention
  • Politics of humanitarianism
  • The everyday in international politics



  • PhD, Political Science, York University.
  • Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies, Centre for Refugee Studies, York University.
  • MA, Political Science and the interdisciplinary program in Contemporary Social and Political Thought, University of Victoria.
  • BA, Political Science, University of Victoria.


Courses 2018-19


  • Globalization 710 - Globalization: An Introduction
  • Political Science 775 - Masters in International Relations Colloquium
  • Political Science 776 - Advanced Issues in Critical Security Studies


  • Political Science 4KK3 - Advanced Issues in Global Security ("The Politics of Borders")
  • Political Science 4QQ3 - Issues in International Politics ("Global Citizenship")



Edited Books

Journal Special Issues

  • Peter Nyers, Johanna Reynolds, Julie E.E. Young, eds., Dis/Placing the Borders of North America. Special issue of International Journal of Migration and Border Studies (forthcoming 2019).
  • Engin F. Isin, Peter Nyers, Bryan S. Turner, eds., Celebrating Ten Years of Citizenship Studies. Special issue of Citizenship Studies 11:1 (February 2007).
  • Peter Nyers, ed., What's Left of Citizenship? Special issue of Citizenship Studies 8:3 (September 2004).
  • Michelle Lowry and Peter Nyers, eds., Global Movements for Refugee and Migrant Rights. Special issue of Refuge: Canada's Periodical on Refugees 21:3 (May 2003).

Journal Articles

  • Peter Nyers, 'Migrant Citizenships and Autonomous Mobilities', Migration, Mobility & Displacement 1:1 (2015).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Moving Borders: the politics of dirt', Radical Philosophy, No. 174 (July/August 2012), pp. 2-6
  • Peter Nyers, 'Alien Equality', Issues in Legal Scholarship, 9:1 (2011).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Missing Citizenship', International Political Sociology 4:1 (March 2010), pp. 95-98.
  • Peter Nyers, 'Dueling Designs: The Politics of Rescuing Dual Citizens', Citizenship Studies 14:1 (February 2010), pp. 47-60.
  • Peter Nyers, 'No One Is Illegal Between City and Nation', Studies in Social Justice 4:2 (2010).
  • Lauren Dunn, Peter Nyers, Richard Stubbs, 'Western Interventionism versus East Asian Noninterference: competing 'global' norms in the Asian century', The Pacific Review 23:3 (2010), pp. 295-312.
  • Peter Nyers, 'In Solitary, In Solidarity: Detainees, Hostages, and Contesting the Anti-Policy of Detention', European Journal of Cultural Studies 11:3 (August 2008), pp. 333-349.
  • Carolina Moulin and Peter Nyers, '"We live in the country of UNHCR": Refugee Protests and Global Political Society',International Political Sociology 1:4 (November 2007), pp. 356-372.
  • Peter Nyers, 'Why Citizenship Studies,' Citizenship Studies 11:1 (February 2007).
  • Peter Nyers, 'The Accidental Citizen: Acts of Sovereignty and (Un)Making Citizenship,' Economy and Society 35:1 (February 2006), pp. 22-41.
  • Peter Nyers, 'The Regularization of Non-Status Immigrants in Canada: Limits and Prospects,' Canadian Review of Social PolicyNo. 55 (Spring/Summer 2005), pp. 109-114.
  • Peter Nyers, 'What's Left of Citizenship?' Citizenship Studies 8:3 (September 2004), pp. 203-215.
  • Peter Nyers, 'Abject Cosmopolitanism: The Politics of Protection in the Anti-Deportation Movement,' Third World Quarterly 24:6 (December 2003), pp. 1069-1093.
  • Peter Nyers, ‘Emergency or Emerging Identities? Refugees and Transformations in World Order,’ Millennium: Journal of International Studies 28:1 (1999), pp. 1-26.

Book Chapters

  • Peter Nyers, 'Incipient Cosmopolitanisms', in Eddy Kent and Terri Tomsky, eds., Negative Cosmopolitanism: Cultures and Politics of World Citizenship after Globalization (Montreal-Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, forthcoming 2017).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Citizenship and International Political Sociology' in Pinar Bilgen and Xavier Guillaume, eds., Routledge Handbook of International Political Sociology (London; Routledge, 2016).
  • Peter Nyers and Zeina Sleiman-Long, 'Citizenship' in Aoileann Ni Mhurchu and Reiko Shindo, eds. Critical Imaginations in International Relations (London: Routledge, 2016).
  • Engin F. Isin and Peter Nyers, 'Globalizing Citizenship Studies', in Engin F. Isin and Peter Nyers, ed., Routledge Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies (London: Routledge, 2014).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Liberating Irregularity: No Borders, Temporality, Citizenship', Citizenship and Security: the constitution of political being, Xavier Guillaume and Jef Huysmans, eds. (London: Routledge, 2013).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Researching Anti-Deportation: Socialization as Method', Research Methods in Critical Security Studies: An Introduction, Mark B. Salter and Can E. Matlu, eds. (London: Routledge, 2012).
  • Peter Nyers and Kim Rygiel, 'Citizenship, Migrant Agency and the Politics of Movement', in Peter Nyers and Kim Rygiel, eds.,Citizenship, Migrant Agency and the Politics of Movement (London: Routledge, 2012).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Forms of Irregular Citizenship', in Vicki Squire, ed., The Contested Politics of Mobility: Borderzones and Irregularity (London: Routledge, 2011).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Missing Citizenship', in Cynthia Weber, 'I am an American': Filming the Fear of Difference (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2011).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Sovereignty Redux? Autonomy and Protection in Military Interventions', in Steven Bernstein and William Coleman, eds., Unsettled Legitimacy: Disruptions and Reconstructions of Political Community and Authority (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2009).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Securitizations of Citizenship', in Peter Nyers, ed., Securitizations of Citizenship (London: Routledge, 2009).
  • Peter Nyers, 'The Accidental Citizen', in Peter Nyers, ed., Securitizations of Citizenship (London: Routledge, 2009).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Abject Cosmopolitanism: The Politics of Protection in the Anti-Deportation Movement', reprinted in Nicholas De Genova and Nathalie Peutz, eds., The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009).
  • Peter Nyers, 'Community without Status: Non-Status Migrants and Cities of Refuge', in Diana Brydon and William Coleman, eds., Renegotiating Community: Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Global Contexts (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2008), pp. 123-138.
  • Peter Nyers, 'No One Is Illegal Between City and Nation', in Engin F. Isin and Greg Nielson, eds., Acts of Citizenship (London: Zed Books, 2008), pp. 160-181.
  • Peter Nyers, 'Taking Rights, Mediating Wrongs: Disagreements over the Political Agency of Non-Status Refugees,' in Jef Huysmans, Andrew Dobson, and Raia Prokhovnik, eds., The Politics of Protection: Sites of Insecurity and Political Agency(London: Routledge, 2006), pp. 48-67.
  • Peter Nyers, 'Cosmopolitismo abietto,' in Sandro Mezzadra, ed., Liberta in movimento. Per una analisi politica delle migrazioni contemporanee (Rome: DeriveApprodi, 2004), pp. 230-244.
  • Peter Nyers, ‘On Humanitarian Violence: Humanity and the Logic of Sovereignty,’ in Samantha Arnold and J. Marshall Beier, eds., (Dis)Placing Security: Critical Re-evaluations of the Boundaries of Security Studies (Toronto: Centre for International and Security Studies, 2000), pp. 71-78.


  • Carolina Berinstein, Peter Nyers, Cynthia Wright and Sima Zeheri, Access Not Fear: Non-Status Immigrants and City Services. Report prepared for the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Campaign, Toronto, Ontario , 2006, 25 pp.
  • Erika Khandor, Jean McDonald, Peter Nyers, and Cynthia Wright, The Regularization of Non-Status Immigrants in Canada, 1960-2004: Past Policies, Current Perspectives, Active Campaigns. Report prepared for the STATUS Campaign, 2004, 50 pp.
  • Michelle Lowry and Peter Nyers, ‘No One Is Illegal: The Fight for Refugee and Migrant Rights in Canada: A Roundtable Report’Refuge: Canada’s Periodical on Refugees 21:3 (May 2003), pp. 66-72.