University of Calgary

Jacqueline Ismael

  • Professor Emerita of Social Work

Currently Teaching

Not currently teaching any courses.


Degrees: PhD (University of Alberta), MA, BA (Hons) (University of Calgary)

Interests: Canadian social policy, international social development, comparative welfare states, human rights, refugees.

Dr. Jacqueline Ismael joined the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Welfare in 1980, and between 1982 and 1989 organized three national Canadian social policy conferences. Over the next decade, she became active at the international level, and organized an international conference on International Social Welfare in a Changing World, held at the University of Calgary in 1995. She also chaired a committee that advocated and mid-wifed the development of the International Social Welfare/Social Work concentration in the Faculty’s curriculum, the first curriculum of its kind in North America.

Ismael is a board member of the International Centre for Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies (ICCMES). She has been a member of all seven of the Centre’s international conference programme committees and was the lead organizer of four of the Centre’s international conferences. She has also been the co-editor of several of the conference proceedings. She has also served as a guest editor of four special issues of Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ) that were based on ICCMES conference papers; Vol.25 No. 1&2 (Winter/Spring 2003); Vol.23 No.4 (Fall 2001); Vol. 21 No.3 (Summer 1999); Vol. 19 No.1 (Winter 1997).

In addition, Ismael is one of the founding members of the International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies (IACIS) and is co-editor of the Association’s journal, The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies (IJCIS), which is published by Intellect Publishing in the United Kingdom. She is also a member of the Board of Executives of the International Association of Middle Eastern Studies (IAMES) and has served on the organizing committee of five IAMES international congresses.

Ismael has published extensively on Canadian social policy and international social welfare, including The Canadian Welfare State: Evolution and Transition (1989) and International Social Welfare in a Changing World (1996).

She has also written a number of articles and books on social change in the Middle East, including Kuwait: Dependency and Class in a Rentier State (1993), and Social Policy in the Arab World (1995); and has co-authored a number of works including The Communist Movement in Syria and Lebanon (1998), The Oppressive State and Civil Society in the Middle East (2002), and The Iraqi Predicament: People in the Quagmire of Power Politics (2004). Her most recent work is Barriers to Reconciliation: Case Studies on Iraq and the Palestine-Israel Conflicts (University Press of America 2006), which was co-edited with William W. Haddad.

Research Projects:


  • Ismael. J. (PI). Imagining Iraq: How Iraqi Women Think about Iraq. (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; 2004-2007).
  • Ismael. J. (PI). Social Reconstruction for Women and Children: An Assessment Protocol. (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council;; 2004-2006).
  • Ismael. J. (Co-I). Integrative Kurdish Development of Station and Nation in Northern Iraq. (Standard Research Grant; 2004-2006)
  • Ismael. J. (Co-Applicant). The Displaced Persons Project: A Euro-Canada Social Work Exchange. (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada; 2005-2008).

Learn more from Dr. Ismael's Innovate Calgary research profile.


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