Profile: Zoran Oklopcic

Profile: Zoran Oklopcic


Zoran Oklopcic - Associate Professor

  • Degrees: LL.B. (Zagreb), Exec. M.A. (Amsterdam), LL.M. (Central European), S.J.D. (Toronto)
  • Email:
  • Office: D587 LA (Loeb Building)

My current research focuses on the normative lenses we use to justify state-formation: self-determination of peoples in international law, constituent power, and popular sovereignty in theory of constitutional law. Recently, I have written about the metamorphosis of self-determination in the post-Cold War context, the concept of territorial rights in the context of theories of secession, and the inadequacy of the concept  of pouvoir constituant as means to justify the creation of new constitutional orders in non-First World countries. Part of my research is embedded in a larger comparative context; I am currently working on a paper that examines the migration of constitutional arguments from Canada to the countries of the former Yugoslavia (and back).

I am a member of the European Society for International Law-Interest Group on International Legal Theory.

Areas of Interest:

  • Constitutional Theory:  foundational concepts; pouvoir, constituant,  popular sovereignty
  • Theories of secession, theories about territorial rights
  • International law:self-determination of peoples
  • Comparative constitutional law: Canada and the Balkans

Select and forthcoming publications:

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

Z. Oklopcic, “Beyond Empty, Conservative and Ethereal: Pluralist Self-Determination and the Peripheral Political Imaginary”, (2013) 26:3 Leiden Journal of International Law [forthcoming] 

Z. Oklopcic, “Constitutional (Re)Vision: Sovereign Peoples, New Constituent Powers, and the Formation of Constitutional Orders in the Balkans”, (2012) 19:1 Constellations, 81-101

Z. Oklopcic, “Independence Referendums in Democratic Theory in Quebec and Montenegro”, (2012) 18:1 Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 22-42.

Z. Oklopcic, “The Territorial Challenge: From Constitutional Patriotism to Unencumbered Agonism in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, (2012) 13:1 German Law Journal, 23-50.

Z. Oklopcic, “The Migrating Spirit of the Secession Reference in Southeastern Europe”, (2011) 24:2 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 347-376.

Z. Oklopcic, “Populus Interruptus: Self-Determination, Independence of Kosovo and the Vocabulary of Peoplehood”, 22:4  (2009) Leiden Journal of International Law, 677-702.

Chapters in peer-reviewed book volumes

Z. Oklopcic, “A Farewell to Rhetorical Arms?: Unraveling the Self-Determination of Peoples” in Andrée Boisselle, Glen Coulthard, Avigail Eisenberg, and Jeremy Webber, eds.,  Recognition and Self-Determination. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press [forthcoming]

Z. Oklopcic, “Constitutional Politics of Secession: Travelling from Quebec to Montenegro (and Back?)” in A. Pavkovic and P. Radan, eds., Ashgate Research Companion on Secession (London: Ashgate, 2011), 131-146.

Z. Oklopcic, “Constituent Power and Polity Legitimacy in the European Context: A Theoretical Sketch” in J. Drew, ed., Redefining Europe (Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2005):133-149.

Other (Non-refereed) Scholarly Publications

Z. Oklopcic, “Drafting Independence: Catalan Declaration of Sovereignty and the Question of Constituent Power in Context”, Int’l J. Const. L. Blog, February 2013.

Z. Oklopcic, “Review of Joel Colón-Riós’ ‘Weak Constitutionalism’”, Int’l J. Const. L. Blog, October 15, 2012.

Z. Oklopcic, “Preliminary Thoughts on the Kosovo Opinion”, EJIL: Talk!, July 26 2010.

Z. Oklopcic, “Reflections on self-determination, and the status of Kosovo in light of the Report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia”, EJIL: Talk!, December 31 2009.

Z. Oklopcic, “The Paradox of Constitutionalism: Constituent Power and Constitutional Form”, (book review) (2008) 6:2 International Journal of Constitutional Law, 358-370.

Z. Oklopcic, “Self-Determination of Peoples and Plural-Ethnic States in Contemporary International Law: Failed States, Nation-building and the Alternative, Federative Option” by Edward McWhinney, (book review) (2007) 45 Canadian Yearbook of International Law, 617-623.