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Office: 136 McLaughlin College
Phone: ext 33408
Email: dsoennec[at]yorku.ca

Dagmar Soennecken
B.A. (Hons.)
(Carleton), M.A., Ph.D. (University of Toronto)

Associate Professor, School of Public Policy & Administration & Department of Social Science
(Law & Society Program)

Video profile, Google Scholar

LinkedIn, Academia.edu

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Profile


Dagmar Soennecken is cross-appointed between the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) and the Department of Social Sciences (Law and Society Program). She is also a faculty member of the SPPA’s executive-style graduate programme (MPPAL), a fellow at McLaughlin College, affiliated with the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies (CCGES) and with the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) at York. In 2009, she (together with a group of colleagues from across the university) successfully competed for a grant from the European Commission that established a European Centre of Excellence at York. As part of per commitment to the Centre, she recently convened two international workshops (“Adversarial legalism à l’Européen” and “Securitization in Germany and the EU – Legal and Policy Implications for Canada”). In 2011-12, she further co-supervised (together with Ulrich Best, Geography) the award-winning, student-organized 17th Annual York Glendon International Studies Symposium on Germany.

Dagmar holds a BA (Hons.) in Political Science and Law from Carleton University, an MA in Political Science (with a concentration in Women’s Studies) and a Ph.D. (2009) from the University of Toronto, and has twice been a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for European and International Aliens and Asylum Law at the University of Konstanz, Germany. For the 2006/07 academic year, she was a Visiting Study Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre (RSC). In the summer of 2013, she held the Canadian Guest Professorship at the University of Kiel, Germany.

Dagmar’s research focuses on comparative politics and public policy in the EU and North America. She is particularly interested in questions concerning law and the courts as well as citizenship and migration.

Before entering the PhD program at the University of Toronto, Dagmar participated in the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme (OLIP) at Queen’s Park in Toronto. Prior to moving to Canada in 1992, she worked for a German public health insurance body (AOK Düsseldorf).

Research Interests

For a brief video profile of one of my research projects, click here (courtesy of EUCAnet)

  • Comparative politics, public policy, comparative public and constitutional law, interdisciplinary legal theory, citizenship and migration, refugee and asylum, social movements, legal mobilization, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, EU.

Principal Publications

“Shifting Back and Up: The European Turn in Canadian Refugee Policy,” Comparative Migration Studies April (2014) 101-122.


Germany and the Janus Face of Immigration Federalism: Devolution vs. Centralization,” in Sasha Baglay, Delphine Nakache, Immigration Regulation in Federal States: Challenges and Responses in Comparative Perspective, New York/Heidelberg, Springer, Springer Series on Migration, 2014.


The Managerialization of Refugee Determinations in Canada,” Droit et Société (special issue: „Rationalité juridique vs. rationalité managériale?” ed. Christine Rothmayr Allison) no. 84 (2013/2), 297-311.


“Extending Hospitality? History, Courts and the Executive,” in Studies in Law, Politics and Society, ed. Austin Sarat (special issue: Who belongs? Immigration, Citizenship and the Constitution of Legality), Vol. 60 (2013) 85-109.


“Commentary: Merkel’s Integration Rhetoric.” European Union Centres of Excellence Newsletter Vol. 5, Issue 1 (winter 2010): 5.


“The Growing Influence of the Courts over the Fate of Refugees.” Review of European and Russian Affairs. Vol. 4, Issue 2/ 2008. 10-43.


“National Report: Canada.” In Kay Hailbronner (ed.), Study of the Asylum Single Procedure (“One-Stop-Shop”) Against the Background of the Common European Asylum System and the Goal of a Common Asylum Procedure. Study carried out on behalf of the European Commission (Directorate General for Justice and Home Affairs), 2002.

Selected Recent Presentations and Talks

Die Europäisierung der kanadischen Migrationspolitik,” public lecture, JMCE, University of Onsabrück, Germany, Dec 10, 2013.

The Europeanization of Canadian immigration policy,” public lecture, University of Kiel, Germany, June 6, 2013.

“Borders and Nation-States – political, philosophical and ethical questions,” roundtable organized by Amnesty International (University of Kiel campus group, in German), May 16, 2013.

“Bringing in the Feds? Comparative Lessons from Germany’s Experience with Immigration Federalism,” Buffett Centre for International Studies & Centre for Forced Migration Studies, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, Nov 12, 2012.

CCGES Online Roundtable: Obama and Europe (video, 2008)


2012 - Ian Greene Award for Teaching Excelllence (LA&PS, nominated)

2011 - Faculty of Graduate Studies Teaching Award (nominated)


Other Links

SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Cluster Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue

European Studies Network Canada (EUCAnet)

German Studies.ca (online information platform for German and European Studies in Canada)




Last updated: July, 2014