Vesselin Popovski

Visiting Fellow

  • Popovski, Vesselin
    UNU Center, 53-70, Jingumae 5-chome, Shibuya-ku 150-8925, Tokyo
    +81 (0)3-5467-1299

    Research Interests

    • Human Rights
    • Peace and security
    • Public International Law


    Ph.D., War Studies, King’s College, London
    Master, International Relations, London School of Economics
    Post-Graduate Diploma, European Law, King’s College, London
    Master, International Relations, Moscow State Institute of International Relations


    Member of the Advisory Board,
    Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies (Brill) Vice President,
    UNU Staff Council Editor,
    Journal of Sustainability Science (Springer) Book reviewer for publishers (Routledge, OUP…); article reviewer for academic journals (International Affairs, Global Governance, International Peacekeeping…),
    Editorial Board Member of the Journal ‘International Studies Review’

    Biographical Statement

    Vesselin Popovski is Professor, Vice Dean and Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of United Nations at Jindal Global Law School. He undertakes research and postgraduate teaching and supervision in the field of international relations, peace and security, international law, human rights, international criminal justice, and governance. He has published numerous books and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Popovski took part in two major international initiatives and co-authored their reports: International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) and its 2001 report “Responsibility to Protect” that led the way to the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the norm “Responsibility to Protect” in 2005; and the Princeton Project on Universal Jurisdiction that developed and published “Princeton Principles of Universal Jurisdiction” (2001).

    Dr. Popovski wrote chapters for, and co-edited the books International Criminal Accountability and the Rights of Children (2006); World Religions and Norms of War (2009); Democracy in the South (2010); Human Rights Regimes in the Americas (2010); Blood and Borders: Responsibility to Protect and the Problem of the Kin State (2011); After Oppression: Transitional Justice in Latin America and Eastern Europe (2012); Norms of Protection: Responsibility to Protect and Protection of Civilians and their Interaction (2012). His research and collaborations on trends and innovations in governance resulted in a UNU Press series of books, co-edited with Shabbir Cheema: Building Trust in Government (2010), Engaging Civil Society (2010) and Cross-Border Governance in Asia (2011). A major book project that Dr. Popovski initiated and developed with contribution from the world’s top scholars is “Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs” (Oxford University Press, 2012), co-edited with Richard Falk. Dr. Popovski also developed and completed the projects “Towards the Dignity of Difference” with Andy Knight and Mojtaba Mahdavi (Ashgate, 2012); “International Rule of Law and Professional Ethics” (Ashgate, 2013); “UN Security Council as a Global Legislator” (Routledge, 2014); “Emotions in International Relations” (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

    From 2002 to 2004, Dr. Popovski worked for the EU project “Legal Protection of Individual Rights in Russia”, training Russian lawyers to apply international human rights mechanisms. Prior to that Dr. Popovski worked as a Bulgarian diplomat, a NATO Research Fellow, a Lecturer at the University of Exeter, UK. In addition to Exeter, he taught full semester Masters’ courses in peace and security, international law and human rights at King’s College, London; Centre for Study of Democracy, Westminster University; Huron University.

  • Peer-reviewed Books

    • Francis, A., Popovski, V., Sampford, C., (eds) ‘Norms of Protection: Responsibility to Protect and Protection of Civilians and their Interaction’ (UNU Press 2012)
    • Popovski, V., Serrano M. (eds) ‘After Oppression: Transitional Justice in Latin America and Eastern Europe’ (UNU Press 2012)
    • Falk, R., Popovski, V. (eds) ‘Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs’ (Oxford University Press 2012)
    • Kemp, W., Popovski V., Thakur R. (eds) ‘Blood and Borders: The Responsibility to Protect and the Problem of the Kin-State’ (UNU Press 2011)
    • Cheema, S., Popovski V., McNally, C. (eds) ‘Cross-Border Governance in Asia: Regional Issues and Mechanisms’ (UNU Press 2011)
    • Serrano, M., Popovski, V., (eds) ‘Human Rights Regimes in the Americas’ (UNU Press 2010)
    • How, B., Popovski V., Notaras, M., (eds) ‘Democracy in the South’ (UNU Press 2010)
    • Cheema, S., Popovski V., ‘Engaging Civil Society: Trends in Democratic Governance’ (UNU Press 2010)
    • Cheema, S., Popovski V., ‘Building Trust in Government: Innovations in Governance Reform in Asia and Pacific’ (UNU Press 2010)
    • Popovski, V., Reichberg, G., Turner N. (eds) ‘World Religions and Norms of War’ (UNU Press 2009)
    • Arts, K. and Popovski, V. (eds) ‘International Criminal Accountability and the Rights of Children’ (TMC Asser Press 2006)

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

    • Popovski, V., Mundy, K. ‘Defining Climate-Change Victims’ in ‘Sustainability Science Journal’ Vol. Issue 1, 2012.
    • Popovski, V., ‘The Concepts of Responsibility to Protect and Protection of Civilians: Differences and Commonalities’ in Security Challenges, Vol. Issue 4, December 2011
    • Popovski, V., ‘Fighting the Colonel: Sanctions and the Use of Force’ in Jindal Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 1, Issue 1, October 2011, pp. 149-162
    • Thakur, R., Popovski, V, ‘The Responsibility to Protect and Prosecute: The Parallel Erosion of Sovereignty and Impunity’ in The Global Community, Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence, Oxford University Press 2008, pp. 39-63
    • Popovski, V. , ‘Terrorizing Civilians as a ‘Counter-Terrorist Operation’: Crimes and Impunity in Chechnya’ in The Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies , Frank Cass, Vol. 7, Number 3, September 2007, pp. 431-447
    • Popovski, V., ‘Sovereignty as Duty to Protect Human Rights’ in United Nations Chronicle, Volume XLI, Issue 4, New York, December 2004, pp. 16-19
    • Popovski, V., ‘The UN Security Council Approach to the Conflicts in the Balkans’ in The Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, Frank Cass, Vol.2, Number 3, September 2002, pp. 39-63
    • Popovski, V., ‘The International Criminal Court: End of Impunity for International Crimes’ in International Relations, Vol. XV, No. 3, 2001; pp. 1-10
    • Popovski, V., ‘The International Criminal Court: A Necessary Step Towards Global Justice’ in Security Dialogue, Sage/PRIO, Vol. 31, No. 4, 2000, pp. 405-419
    • Popovski, V. ‘The United Nations Security Council: Re-thinking Humanitarian Intervention and the Veto’ in Security Dialogue, Sage/PRIO, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2000, pp. 249-252

    Technical Papers, Policy Briefs, etc

    • Breakey, H., Popovski, V. and others: “Enhancing Protection Capacity: Policy Guide to the Responsibility to Protect and the Protection of Civilians”, and “Enhancing Protection Capacity: Overview Document; Griffith University and UNU, 2012
    • Popovski, Zuber, Turner, Ayo, Maximizing the Impact of UN Security Council Resolution 1325: 10 Years On, 2010
    • Popovski, Cheema, Lowry, Governance by Civil Society Engagement in Asia, 2008
    • Turner, Aginam and Popovski, Post-Conflict Countries and Foreign Investment, 2008
    • Popovski and Turner, Legality and Legitimacy in International Order, 2008
    • Popovski, Turner, Wagner and Lowden, Human Rights Regime in the Americas, 2008
    • Popovski and Turner, Religious Perpsectives on the Use of Force, 2007
    • Popovski, International Criminal Accoutability and Children Rights, 2006

    Other Publications (Conference Proceedings, etc)

    • Popovski, V. ‘Global Climate Change: Issues, Problems and Solutions’ in Proceedings from 10th KPI Congress, Bangkok, November 2008
    • Fath-Lihic, A., Popovski, V.,‘Hybrid Missions – a promising model resolving the global-regional debate’ in UNU-CRIS Annual Repository 2008
    • Knight, A., Popovski, V.,‘Cyclone Nargis: Protect People or Protocol?’ in Edmonton Journal, Canada, May 2008
    • Popovski, V. ‘Possibility and Constraint for Constructing a Global Order: UN Perspective’ in ‘Constructing a Global Order’ 23rd Shonan Session Report (2007)
    • Popovski, V., ‘The Role of UN for Peaceful Resolution of Territorial Disputes’ in ‘Territorial Disputes in Northeast Asia: from the Perspectives of International relations’, Korean Association of International Studies and Northeast Asian History Foundation 2007, pp. 177-196
    • Popovski, V., ‘Peacebuilding: Lessons and Prospects’ in ‘Capacity Development for Peacebuilding: International Network Approach’ in Takahashi (ed), Rotary Peace Centre, 2007, pp. 3-11
    • Popovski, V., ‘UN Reform Process and Multi-Stake Holders’ in T. Kunugi (ed.) ‘Towards New Partnership of the UN System and Global Civil Society’, ICU/ICRA 2006, pp. 28-34
    • Popovski, V., ‘Challenges to the Peacebuilding Commission’ in Roles of Various Stakeholders in Post-Conflict Cooperation, Proceedings from Seminar on International Peace Co-operation, Osaka School of International Public Policy, 2006, pp. 114-127
    • Popovski, V.,‘Transitional Justice in Peacebuilding: Prospects, Problems’Yasunobu Sato (ed) Human Security and Peacebuilding Series, Tokyo University, 2006
    • Popovski, ‘The United Nations: Time for Reform’ in Proceedings from International Conference on UN Reforms, Institute of Political and International Studies (IPIS), Tehran, 2006, pp. 389-405
    • Popovski, V.,‘Successes and Failures of the Security Council’ in ‘UN Role in Global Governance: Challenges and Possibilities, 21st Shonan Session Report, 2005