Ayelet Shachar



  • Advisor
  • Boundaries, Membership & Belonging


  • Max Planck Institute Study of Religious & Ethnic Diversity


  • Canada


JSD (Doctor of the Science of Law), Yale Law School
LLM (Master of Laws), Yale Law School,
LLB (Bachelor of Laws), Tel-Aviv University
BA (Political Science), Tel-Aviv University


Ayelet Shachar is director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

Previously, she held the Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and was also the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School and the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.

Her research focuses on citizenship theory, immigration law, cultural diversity, gender equality, talent migration, and new border regimes. Her work has inspired a new generation of thinking about how best to mitigate tensions between religious diversity and gender equality, and has proven influential in public policy and legislative debates. It has also been cited by religious leaders (e.g. England’s Archbishop of Canterbury) and in high court decisions (e.g. Supreme Court of Canada). Her research is motivated by the urgent need to develop new legal principles to address some of the most pressing issues of our time: how to live together in diverse societies, how to grant rights to those who lack formal access to membership, and how to tame the ever-expanding reach of borders and migration control in a world of persistent inequality.

Shachar is the prize-winning author of the books Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights, The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality, and The Shifting Border: Legal Cartographies of Migration and Mobility, and is the lead editor of The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship. She has provided pro-bono consultation to judges, non-governmental organizations, the European Parliamentary Research Service, and the World Bank. 


Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize—Germany’s most prestigious research award, 2019
Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 2017
Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism, 2007-2015
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 2014
American Political Science Association, Migration & Citizenship Chapter Award, 2013

Relevant Publications

Shachar, A. (2020). The Shifting Border: Legal Cartographies of Migration and Mobility. Critical Powers Series, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Shachar, A. (2018). The Marketization of Citizenship in an Age of Restrictionism. Ethics & International Affairs, 32, 3-13.

Shachar, A. Baubock, R., Bloemraad, I., & Vink, M. (Eds.). (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Citizenship. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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

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