Associate Professor in Political Science


Associate Professor in Political Science
0033 (0) 35931 5087


Janis Grzybowski received his Ph.D. in International Relations/Political Science in 2015 from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. He wrote his dissertation on the topic of controversial cases of state creation as a limit phenomenon of both international relations and international law, de- and reconstructing state making theoretically and exploring it empirically in case studies of Somaliland and Kosovo.

Before joining ESPOL in September 2016, he was a Gerda-Henkel postdoctoral fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Helsinki, Finland, where he remains an affiliated researcher. Janis Grzybowski further held visiting fellowships at the Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and at the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. He also worked for the Small Arms Survey and the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative in Geneva, Switzerland. His research focuses on the challenge to and resilience of statehood and sovereignty in the global order, currently with a regional focus on the Middle East and Syria in particular.

Languages spoken: French, English, German


Janis Grzybowski est docteur en science politique/relations internationales (2015) de l’Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement (IHEID, Genève, Suisse). Dans sa thèse de doctorat, et à partir des cas controversés de création de l’Etat en Somaliland et au Kosovo, Janis Grzybowski se propose de déconstruire et reconstruire la création des Etats compris comme phénomène limite de l’étude des relations internationales et du droit international.

Avant d’intégrer ESPOL en septembre 2016, il était post-doctorant Gerda-Henkel au Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights à l’Université d’Helsinki (Finlande) auquel il demeure affilié. Il a également été chercheur invité au Max Planck Institute of Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg, Allemagne), à l’American University in Cairo (Egypte) et au Peace Research Institute de Francfort (Allemagne). Il a aussi travaillé pour le Small Arms Survey et l’Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative à Genève (Suisse). Ses recherches actuelles portent sur le défi et la résilience de l’Etat et de la souveraineté à l’ère globale en portant une attention plus spécifique sur la région moyen-orientale et la Syrie en particulier.

Langues parlées : français, anglais, allemand


Epistemology and Methodology of the Social Sciences

The European Union in Global Governance

Armed Conflict and Peacemaking

State Sovereignty in International Relations

(Model United Nations)


International Relations

State Theory and State Formation

Politics of International Law

Armed Conflict and Political Violence



Dissertation manuscript :

(2015) : The Politics of State Creation : Performing Sovereignty beyond Facts and Norms, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.


Peer-reviewed journal articles :

(2017) “Between Regional Community and Global Society: Europe in the Shadow of Schmitt and Kojève” Journal of International Political Theory 13: 2 (with Walter Rech); online available; DOI: 10.1177/1755088216638682 

(2017) “To Be or Not to Be: The Ontological Predicament of State Creation in International Law” European Journal of International Law 28.2: 409-432.​



Book and yearbook chapters :

(2018) “Concentric Circles: Aporias of De-centering State Making in Time and Space”, in: Jan Teorell, Jens Bartelson, and Martin Hall (eds.) De-centering State Making in Time and Space. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

(2016) : “Diffusion and Reappropriation – The Mimetic Reproduction of Sovereignty in International Law” in Isabelle Schulte-Tenckhoff and Vincent Négri (eds.) Towards International Normativity: Between Mimetism and Dissemination, Paris: Pedone, pp. 127-155.

(2015) : “Statehood and International Law – A Performative View” in Robert Schuett and Peter Stirk (eds.): The Concept of the State in International Relations. Philosophy, Sovereignty, and Cosmopolitanism, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 23-47 (with Martti Koskenniemi).

(2012) : “Between State and Non-state: Somaliland’s Emerging Security Order” in: Small Arms Survey Yearbook 2012: Moving Targets, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 146-173 (with Dominik Balthasar).

(2012) : “Piece by Piece: Authorized Transfers of Parts and Accessories of Small Arms and Light Weapons” in: Small Arms Survey Yearbook 2012: Moving Targets, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 240-281 (with Matt Schroeder and Nickolas Marsh).


Conference and working papers :

(2016) “Re-Centralizing Origins: the Epistemic Order and Centralizing Gaze of the Sovereign State”, Workshop ‘States and their Making: International and Comparative Perspectives’, Lund University, Sweden, 19-20 May 2016.

(2016) “Of Rogue Copies and Misused Certifications: The Politics of Translating the Sovereign State”, European Workshops in International Studies (EWIS), Tübingen, Germany, 5-8 April 2016.

(2016) “On the Ontological Politics of State Creation in International Law”, International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention, Atlanta, USA, 16-19 March 2016.

(2016) “Tracing the Enactment of the Kosovar State. A Reconsideration of the Meta-Politics of State Creation”, Erfurt University Colloquium, Germany, 18 January 2016.

(2015) “Package and Delivery: On the Production of Authority and Violence by State Recognition in International Law”, European International Studies Association (EISA) Young Researchers Workshop, Catania, Italy, 21-22 September 2015.

(2015) “Ordering Violence beyond the State? Promises and Pitfalls of ‘Hybrid Political Orders’”, EISA Annual Convention, Giordino Naxos, Italy, 23-26 September 2015.

(2015) “IR and Critique: Old Problems, New Perspectives”, EISA Annual Convention, Giordino Naxos, Italy, 23-26 September 2015 (with Timo Walter).