Visiting Scholar


Ayelet Shachar

LAPA Visiting Scholar, 2002-2003
University of Toronto

Faculty of Law
78 Queen's Park
Toronto Canada M5S 2C5
phone: 416-978-1620

While at LAPA
Ayelet Shachar is an award-winning scholar and a leading expert on issues of citizenship theory, immigration law, multi-level governance regimes, and the rights of women within minority cultures. She holds an LL.B in Law and B.A. in Political Science, summa cum laude ('93), from Tel Aviv University; LL.M. ('95) and J.S.D ('97), both from Yale Law School. Before arriving at Yale, she clerked for Deputy Chief Justice (now Chief Justice) Aharon Barak of the Supreme Court of Israel. Professor Shachar teaches at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Shachar's recently published book, Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women's Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2001), was awarded the American Political Science Association Best First Book Award. She is currently writing a new book that critically assesses the philosophical foundations and global distributive functions of birthright citizenship.

Life after LAPA

Ayelet Shachar has been named the Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism, and is cross-appointed to the Department of Political Science and the Munk School of Global Affairs. In 2006-2007, Professor Shachar served as the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School, and in 2007-2008 she was named the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Her scholarship focuses on legal theory; citizenship and immigration law; highly skilled migrants; multiculturalism and women's rights; family law and cultural difference; law and religion in comparative perspective; transnational legal process and international ethics.


Her most recent book, The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality, was published by Harvard University Press in 2009. It has been selected as a 2010 Notable Book by the International Ethics Section of the International Studies Association, in recognition of the book's "superior scholarship and contribution to the field of international ethics" and has already created a groundswell of interest.  

Professor Shachar has received many academic awards and fellowships, including appointment as Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Princeton's Law and Public Affairs Program, Emile Noël Senior Fellow at NYU School of Law, and Connaught Research Fellow at the University of Toronto. In recognition of her excellence in research and teaching, she has received the University's Provostial Merit Increase Award for five consecutive years. She also served as a Member of Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) national grant selection committe for legal scholarship and research.


Professor Shachar frequently delivers public lectures to academic and non-academic audiences alike. She has published extensively in leading law reviews, social science and political philosophy journals, such as Political Theory, the Journal of Political Philosophy, Philosophy & Social Criticism, Yale Law Journal, NYU Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and Perspectives on Politics. She is the author of Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women's Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2001), for which she won the American Political Science Association Best First Book Award in 2002. This work has proved influential, intervening in actual public policy and legislative debates in Canada and abroad. It was cited, most recently, by England's Archbishop of Canterbury (Civil and Religious Law in England), Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney General (Dispute Resolution in Family Law: Protecting Choice, Promoting Inclusion), and the Supreme Court of Canada (Bruker v. Marcovitz)



 The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality                
(Harvard University Press, 2009).

         2010 Notable Book, International Studies Assocation
         International Ethics Section, in recognition of the book's "superior
         scholarship and contribution to the field of international ethics" 

         Featured in Edge, Nexus, Rorotoko, Tikkun, Yale Law Report,
         Literary Review of Canada, Osgoode Hall Law Journal,
         Journal of Constitutional Law, La Revue Nouvelle (partial list) 
         Symposiums devoted to The Birthright Lottery are forthcoming in: 

         Issues in Legal Scholarship (2010) 

         Perspectives on Politics (2010)

         Les Ateliers de L'Ethique (2011)

Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights
(Cambridge University Press, 2001)

Winner of the 2002 Best First Book Award, American Political Science Association, Foundations Political Theory Section, Awarded August 2002. 

Selected by the Editors of Political Studies Review as one of the five best newly published books that “make a significant contribution to the study of political theory and political philosophy, or are likely to be of wide interest in the field” 

Reviewed in: American Political Science Review, Australian Journal of Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Ethnic Studies, Contemporary Political Theory, International Journal of Legal Information, Journal of Moral Philosophy, Michigan Law Review, Michigan Journal of International Law, Political Theory, Social Theory and Practice.

Multicultural Jurisdictions has been cited by the Supreme Court of Canada (Bruker v. Marcovitz, 2007 SCC 54) and by governmental commissions and reports (e.g. Ministry of the Attorney General, Dispute Resolution in Family Law: Protecting Choice, Promoting Inclusion), and most recently, by the head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, in a major speech on state and religion delivered in Lambeth Palace.   


"Picking Winners: Olympic Citizenship and Global Race for Talent"
Yale Law Journal 120 (forthcoming 2011)

Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law
Edited by Andras Sajo and Michel Rosenfeld
(Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2011)  

"Too Religious to Become a Citizen?"
Human Rights: The Hard Questions
Edited by Cindy Holder and David Reidy
(Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2011)

"Earned Citizenship: Property Lessons for Immigration Reform"
Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities 22 (forthcoming 2010)

"Global Gender Inequality and the Empowerment of Women"
Perspectives on Politics 8 (2010), 279-281   

"Faith in Law? Diffusing Tensions between Equality and Diversity"
Philosophy & Social Criticism 36 (2010), 394-411     

"Entangled: State, Religion, and the Family"
Shari'a in the West
Edited by Rex Ahdar and Nicholas Aroney
(Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2010) 

“Family Matters: Is there Room for 'Culture' in the Courtroom?”
Criminal Law and Cultural Diversity
Edited by Jeremey Waldron, Will Kymlicka, and Claes Lernestedt
(Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2010)  

"The Future of National Citizenship: Going, Going, Gone?"
University of Toronto Law Journal 59 (2009), 579-590 

"The New Wall of Separation: Permitting Diversity, Restricting Competition"
Cardozo Law Review 30 (2009) (with Ran Hirschl), 2535-2560 

"What We Owe Women? The View from Multicultural Feminism"
Toward a Humanist Justice: The Work of Susan Moller Okin
Edited by Debra Satz and Rob Reich
(Oxford University Press, 2009), 143-165    

"Privatizing Diversity: A Cautionary Tale from Religious Arbitration
in Family Law"
Theoretical Inquiries in Law 9 (2008), 573-607

"Citizenship and Global Distribution of Opportunity”   
Citizenship Between Past and Future
Edited by Engin F. Isin, Peter Nyres and Bryan Turner
(Routledge, 2008), 139-149

Citizenship as Inherited Property” (with Ran Hirschl)
Political Theory 35 (2007), 253-287

The Shifting Border of Immigration Regulation
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights & Civil Liberties 3 (2007), 165-193

Reprinted in Michigan Journal of International Law 30 (2009), 809-839 
Reprinted in Immigration and Nationality Law Review 28 (2007), 387-406[Annual anthology of the most seminal law review articles
on immigration and nationality published in the previous year]

“Feminism and Multiculturalism: Mapping the Terrain”
Multiculturalism and Political Theory
Edited by David Owen and Anthony Laden
(Cambridge University Press, 2007), 115-148

“The ‘Worth’ of Citizenship in an Unequal World”
Theoretical Inquiries in Law 8 (2007), 367-388

“Against Birthright Privilege: Redefining Citizenship as Property”
Identities, Affiliations, and Allegiances
Edited by Seyla Benhabib and Ian Shapiro
(Cambridge University Press, 2007), 257-281

The Race for Talent: Highly Skilled Migrants and Competitive Immigratin Regimes"
NYU Law Review 81 (2006), 148-206

Reprinted in Immigration and Nationality Law Review 27 (2006), 143-202

Religion, State, and the Problem of Gender:
New Modes of Citizenship and Governance in Diverse Societies

McGill Law Journal 50 (2005), 49-88

Excerpted version translated into Italian, appeared in
Politica & Societa 4 (2009), 31-58

Constitutional Transformation, Gender Equality, and Religious/National Conflict in Israel: Tentative Progress through the Obstacle Course,”
(with Ran Hirschl) The Gender of Constitutional Jurisprudence 
Edited by Beverly Baines and Ruth Rubio-Marin
(Cambridge University Press, 2005), 205-229.

“Children of a Lesser State: Sustaining Global Inequality through
Citizenship Laws”
NOMOS: Child, Family, and the State
Edited by Stephen Macedo and Iris Marion Young 
(New York University Press, 2003), 345-397

“The Thin Line between Imposition and Consent:
A Critique of Birthright Membership Entitlements and their Implications”
Breaking the Cycles of Hatred: Memory, Law and Repair
Edited by Martha Minow and Nancy Rosenblum
(Princeton University Press, 2002), 200-235

“Two Critiques of Multiculturalism”
Cardozo Law Review 23 (2001), 253-297 

“On Citizenship and Multicultural Vulnerability”
Political Theory 28 (2000), 64-89 

“The Puzzle of Interlocking Power Hierarchies: Sharing the Pieces of Jurisdictional Authority”
Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 35 (2000), 385-416

[Recipient of the Scholarly Paper Award Committee Honorable Mention
Canadian Association of Law Teachers (CALT), Awarded April 2001]   

“Should Church and State be Joined at the Altar? Women’s Rights
and the Multicultural Dilemma,”
Citizenship in Diverse Societies
Edited by Will Kymlicka and Wayne Norman
(Oxford University Press, 2000), 199-223 

Whose Republic? Citizenship and Membership in the Israeli Polity
Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 13 (1999), 233-272  

Reprinted in From Migrants to Citizens: Membership in a Changing World 
Edited by T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Douglas Klusmeyer
(Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2000), 386-433   

“The Paradox of Multicultural Vulnerability:
Individual Rights, Identity Groups, and the State”
(with commentary by Will Kymlicka) 
Multicultural Questions 
Edited by Christian Joppke and Steven Lukes
(Oxford University Press, 1999), 87-129 

“Reshaping the Multicultural Model: Group Accommodation and Individual Rights,”
Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues 8 (1998): 83-111

[Winner of the J.S.D. Tory Writing Award, Awarded November 1997] 

Group Identity and Women’s Rights in Family Law: The Perils of Multicultural Accommodation
Journal of Political Philosophy 6 (1998), 285-305 

Reprinted in Gender & Rights
Edited by Deborah L. Rhode and Carol Sanger
(Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005), 249-269   

“Minority Rights in International Law,” (with Nathan Lerner)
Israel Yearbook of Law
(Tel Aviv: Israel Bar Association, 1993) [Hebrew]

“The Sexuality of Law: The Legal Discourse of Rape,”
Tel Aviv University Law Review 18 (1993), 159-199 [Hebrew]

[Winner of the Una Weiler Excellence Award for Junior Scholars,
Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law, Awarded May 1994]

Encyclopedia Entries and Book Reviews

Encyclopedia of Modern Political Thought
Edited by Gregory Claeys (Sage/CQ Press, forthcoming 2011)

“The Law of Return"
Immigration and Asylum Encyclopedia
Edited by Matthew J. Gibney and Randall Hansen (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2005) 

Review of Jan Feldman, “Lubavitchers as Citizens: A Paradox of
Liberal Democracy,”
Perspectives on Politics 2 (2004) 

Review of Daniel Levy and Yfaat Weiss (eds.) “Challenging Ethnic Citizenship: German and Israeli Perspectives on Immigration,”
American Journal of Sociology 109 (2003)

Review of Andrea T. Baumeister, “Liberalism and the ‘Politics of Difference,’”  The Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2002) 

Review of Martha C. Nussbaum, “Women and Human Development: 
The Capabilities Approach,”
Political Studies 49 (2001)