Timothy William Waters

Timothy William Waters

Professor of Law and Val Nolan Faculty Fellow; Associate Director, Center for Constitutional Democracy

  • B.A., UCLA 1989
  • M.I.A, Columbia University 1998
  • J.D., Harvard Law School (cum laude) 1999
  • Humboldt Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute (2012-13)
  • Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar, Harvard Law School (2002-2005)
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (1999-2000)
  • Peace Corps Volunteer, Hungary (1991-1994)

Professor Waters' scholarly interests include the structure of the inter-state system, ethnic conflict, human rights, transitional justice, and comparative law, especially in European and Islamic contexts. His principal research involves re-defining self-determination to devise an effective right of peaceful secession. He has published extensively in leading journals of international law and international relations, including at Yale, Harvard, NYU, Virginia, and George Washington.

Waters is a frequent contributor to policy debate on international law and politics. His op-eds on Iraq, the Balkans, and international justice have appeared in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. He has presented his work to universities, government bodies, and institutes in the U.S., Europe, Iran, and Israel.

Waters has served as a consultant on legal system reform for the Open Society Institute, UNDP, and the Latvian Ministry of Justice, on ethnic discrimination for Human Rights Watch, and as a consultant to the defense on Padilla et al. He monitored implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia for the OSCE, and at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, he helped draft the indictment of Slobodan Milosevic. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Hungary, where he first developed his interest in regulation of minority-majority conflicts.

During several research fellowships at Harvard Law School and graduate studies at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, Waters explored the interaction of law and ethnic conflict. He has also studied at the Lund University in Sweden and Bogazici University in Turkey, and visited at Boston University, the University of Mississippi, Bard College and Central European University in Budapest.

In the media
Selected Works
  • Discursive Democracy and the Challenge of State Building in Divided Societies: Reckoning with Symbolic Capital in Bosnia and Herzegovina (with Robert L. Ivie), 38 NATIONALITIES PAPERS 449 (2010).
  • A Kind of Judgment: Searching for Judicial Narratives after Death 42 GEORGE WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 279 (2010).
  • "The Momentous Gravity of the State of Things Now Obtaining": Annoying Westphalian Objections to the Idea of Global Governance, 16 INDIANA JOURNAL OF GLOBAL LEGAL STUDIES 25 (2009).
  • Assuming Bosnia: Taking the Polity Seriously in Ethnically Divided Societies, in DECONSTRUCTING THE RECONSTRUCTION: HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW IN POSTWAR BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (Dina Francesca Haynes, Ed.). Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2008.
  • Killing Globally, Punishing Locally? The Still-Unmapped Ecology of Atrocity, 55 BUFFALO LAW REVIEW 1331 (2008).
  • The Blessing of Departure: Acceptable and Unacceptable State Support for Demographic Transformation - The Lieberman Plan to Exchange Populated Territories in Cisjordan, 2 LAW & ETHICS OF HUMAN RIGHTS 221 (2008)
  • Remembering Sudetenland: On the Legal Construction of Ethnic Cleansing, 47 VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 63 (2006)
  • Ethnic conflict and secession
  • International criminal law
  • Transitional justice
  • Human rights
  • East Central Europe and Balkans