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Andrea Paras is the Interim Director of the Guelph Institute for Development Studies and an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. Prior to joining the University of Guelph in 2012, she was an Assistant Professor at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Dr. Paras is currently engaged in two major research projects. The first project, funded through a SSHRC Insight Grant (2021-2026), examines the ways in which Catholic healthcare institutions in Canada have retained their Catholic identity in the context of a religiously diverse yet publicly secular Canadian society. It also investigates how healthcare staff who work in Catholic institutions, including physicians, bioethicists, midwives, and spiritual care providers, navigate Catholic ethics in their day-to-day work. Her second project, funded through a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2021-2023), investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada’s foreign aid sector, with a specific focus on how Small and Medium NGOs (SMOs) have adapted to the pandemic. She has previously conducted research on the history and politics of humanitarianism, including her book Moral Obligations and Sovereignty in International Relations: A Genealogy of Humanitarianism (Routledge, 2019), as well as investigated the history and current practices of faith-based humanitarian organisations. Her research has also contributed to the field of intercultural studies, with a focus on understanding why some students are more successful than others in achieving intercultural learning outcomes while studying abroad. Her research has pioneered methods for using qualitative student reflections in combination with the Intercultural Development Inventory (a psychometric survey tool) to assess intercultural learning outcomes, which has direct pedagogical application in relation to designing inclusive curricula across multiple programs. Her research has been published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies, The International History Review, Intercultural Education, and Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, as well as by Oxford University Press and Routledge. Her writing has also appeared in the The Conversation, National Observer, Toronto Star and NOW Magazine.
Dr. Paras teaches and supervises in the areas of international development, international relations, human rights and humanitarianism, religion and politics, community-engaged research, and intercultural competence. She has led the India Field School program, an intensive course on the ethics of international voluntourism that takes place in Guelph and Dharamsala, India. She is the recipient of several teaching and research awards, including the 2016 Award for Teaching from the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences at the University of Guelph, and the 2016 Panorama Award for Outstanding International Education Program from the Canadian Bureau of International Education.
- Andrea Paras. 2019. Moral Obligations and Sovereignty in International Relations: A Genealogy of Humanitarianism (London: Routledge).
Articles and Book Chapters
- Andrea Paras. “Rights.” Oxford Handbook of History and International Relations. Oxford University Press. (Forthcoming)
- Andrea Paras. “Intercultural Competence.” Oxford Handbook of International Studies Pedagogy. Oxford University Press (Forthcoming)
- Andrea Paras and Lynne Mitchell. 2020. “Up for the challenge? The role of disorientation and dissonance in intercultural learning.” In Mind the Gap: Global Learning at Home and Abroad. (Sterling, VA: Stylus).
- Melanie Rathburn, Jodi Malmgren, Ashley Brenner, Michael Carignan, Jane Hardy, and Andrea Paras. 2020. “Assessing Intercultural Competence in Study Writing: A Multi-institutional Study.” In Mind the Gap: Global Learning at Home and Abroad. (Sterling, VA: Stylus).
- Andrea Paras, Michael Carignan, Ashley Brenner, Jane Hardy, Jodi Malmgren, and Melanie Rathburn. 2019. “Understanding How Program Factors Influence Intercultural Learning in Study Abroad: The Benefits of Mixed-Methods Analysis.” Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. 31(1): 22-45.
- Andrea Paras. 2019. “Missionaries and the civilizing mission in British colonialism.” In The Two Worlds of Nineteenth Century International Relations: The Bifurcated Century. Edited by Daniel M. Green (London: Routledge).
- Lynne Mitchell and Andrea Paras. 2018. “When Difference Creates Dissonance: Understanding the ‘Engine’ of Intercultural Learning.” Intercultural Education. 29(3): 321-339.
- Andrea Paras and Lynne Mitchell. 2017. "Assessing Intercultural Competence in Experiential Learning Abroad: Lessons for Educators." Experiential Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: A Journal for Engaged Educators. 1(1): 45-64.
- Benjamin de Carvalho and Andrea Paras. 2015. “Sovereignty and Moral Obligation: Confessional England and the Huguenots.” The International History Review. 37(1): 1-21.
- Andrea Paras. 2014. "Between Missions and Development: Christian NGOs in the Canadian Development Sector." Canadian Journal of Development Studies. 35(3): 439-457.
- Andrea Paras. 2013. “Global literacy and reflections on what it means to learn.” Critical Studies on Security. 1(3): 365-367.
- Andrea Paras. 2012. “CIDA’s Secular Fiction and Canadian Faith-based Organisations.” Canadian Journal of Development Studies. 33(2): 231-249.
- Andrea Paras and Janice Gross Stein. 2012. “Bridging the Sacred and the Profane in Humanitarian Life.” In Sacred Aid: Faith and Humanitarianism. Edited by Michael Barnett and Janice Gross Stein. (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
- Andrea Paras, Heather Dicks, John-Michael Davis, Craig Johnson, and Andréanne Martel. “What Have SMOs Learned from COVID?” 2022 Spur Change Report. May 2022.
- Andrea Paras, Asa Coleman, and Jenine Otto. “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on SMO Adaptation and Resilience.” 2021 Spur Change Report. March 2021.
- Andrea Paras, Spencer Henson, Craig Johnson, Asa Coleman, and Jenine Otto. “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Canada’s Foreign Aid Sector.” October 2020. Report published by the Guelph Institute for Development Studies, University of Guelph.
- “Universal Periodic Review and China’s Human Rights Record in Tibet.” July 2013. Report prepared for the Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy and submitted to UN Special Rapporteurs in September 2013 in preparation for China’s second Universal Periodic Review.
Dr. Paras has procured over $300,000 in lifetime research funding, including a SSHRC Insight Grant (2021-2026) and a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2021-2023). She is also the recipient of several teaching and research awards, including the 2016 Award for Teaching from the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences at the University of Guelph, and the 2016 Panorama Award for Outstanding International Education Program from the Canadian Bureau of International Education.