Vesselin Popovski undertakes research and post-graduate 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. Popovski took part in two major international initiatives and co-authored their reports: (1) 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 (2) Princeton Project on Universal Jurisdiction that developed and published “Princeton Principles of Universal Jurisdiction” (2001). He is currently a member of the International Working Group on “Principles and Guidelines for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Persons Affected by Leprosy”, created to develop a Plan of Action following General Assembly resolution A/RES/65/215 (2010).
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); and International Rule of Law and Professional Ethics (2013). Another major project that Popovski initiated, developed and materialized is “Legality and Legitimacy in Global Affairs” (Oxford University Press, 2012), co-edited with Richard Falk and with chapters from the world’s top scholars. Popovski also championed the project “Towards the Dignity of Difference” with Andy Knight and Mojtaba Mahdavi (Ashgate, 2012). His research and collaborations on trends and innovations in governance materialized 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).
Before coming to UNU, Popovski worked as a Bulgarian diplomat, and a NATO Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre for European Studies, Exeter University, 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; and Russian State Humanitarian University. From 2002 to 2004, Popovski worked for the EU project “Legal Protection of Individual Rights in Russia”, training Russian lawyers to apply international human rights mechanisms.