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Ilan Kapoor

Ilan Kapoor



PhD Political Science , University of Toronto
MA International Affairs , Carleton University
BA (Honours) Economics and Political Science , University of Waterloo

Research Keywords

Critical Development Studies; Postcolonial Theory/Politics; Psychoanalytic Theory/Politics/Marxism; Ideology Critique (Drawing On The Work Of Slavoj Žižek); Participation/Democracy; Celebrity Humanitarianism; Western & Non-Western Political Theory.

Ilan Kapoor

Contact Information

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

416 736 2100

Research Interests

I teach Global Environmental Politics and International Development Studies from a critical perspective. My research centers on the politicization of global development: showing how it is contested (from the perspective of class, gender, racialization, indigeneity), and opening it up to debate.

Research Projects

SSHRC Insight Grant, 2019-23, “Psychoanalysis and International Development”: Aims to investigates how, and to what extent, psychoanalysis intersects with international development; and to identify and analyze examples and case studies of psychoanalytic phenomena from both the Geography/ Development Studies literature and the international programs of development organizations based on field work.

Research Output

(2023) Global Libidinal Economy (co-authored with Gavin Fridell, Maureen Sioh, and Pieter de Vries), Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

(2021) Universal Politics (co-authored with Zahi Zalloua; Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press).

(2020)  Confronting Desire: Psychoanalysis and International Development (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).

(2018) Psychoanalysis and the GlObal (edited) (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press).

(2013) Celebrity Humanitarianism: The Ideology of Global Charity (London & New York: Routledge).

(2008) The Postcolonial Politics of Development (London & New York: Routledge).

(2023)  “Decolonising Development Studies,” Review of International Studies, 49(3): 346-55 (open access article). Forum on “Re-imagining International Relations: Proposals for Building a Decolonised Discipline.”

(2022) “Universality,” in Understanding Žižek, Understanding Modernism, Z. Zalloua and J. Di Leo (eds.), pp. 219-21, London: Bloomsbury.

(2021) “Populism,” in Globalizing Collateral Language: From 9/11 to Endless War, J. Collins and S. Sen (eds.), pp. 119-26, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press

(2018) Žižek, Antagonism and Politics Now: Three Recent Controversies, International Journal of Zizek Studies, 12(1) (online).

(2017) Cold Critique, Faint Passion, Bleak Future: Post-Development’s Surrender to Global Capitalism, Third World Quarterly, 38(12).

(2016) Black Lives Matter: Whitewashing the Amanda Knox Story (with Kent Murnaghan), Bright Lights Film Journal, September 30.

(2015) What ‘Drives’ Capitalist Development?Human Geography, 8(3).

(2015) The Queer Third WorldThird World Quarterly, 36(9).

(2015) Billionaire Philanthropy: ‘Decaf Capitalism’, in International Handbook of Wealth and the Super-Rich, J. Beaverstock and I. Hay (eds), Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

2014 Psychoanalysis and Development: Contributions, Examples, LimitsThird World Quarterly, 35(7): 1120-43. Guest editor of subtheme on ‘Psychoanalysis and Development’.

(2014) Psychoanalysis and Development: An IntroductionThird World Quarterly, 35(7): 1117-19.

(2014) Subaltern Studies, in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research, D. Coghlan and M. Brydon-Miller (eds), pp. 737-38, London: Sage.

(2013) Humanitarian Heroes?, in Age of Icons: Exploring Philanthrocapitalism in the Contemporary World, G. Fridell and M. Konings (eds), pp. 26-49, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Recognition & Awards

  • 2023 Dean’s Teaching Award, EUC
  • 2022 Dean’s Research Excellence Award, EUC


Course CodeTitle
ENVS 1300Environmental Politics and Justice
ENVS 6156Critical Theories of International Development
ENVS 3340 and ENVS 6175Global Environmental Politics