Research Staff

Ilker Gökhan Sen

Senior Researcher

Constitutional lawyer using interdisciplinary methods to understand the relationship between constitutional law and political reality.

Gökhan has a PhD in Law from the University of Zurich, Switzerland (magna cum laude) His PhD thesis was published as: “Sovereignty Referendums in International and Constitutional Law, Springer 2015”. The global aim of this book is to offer a holistic account of sovereignty referendums in international and national law and politics. For this purpose, the book discusses extensively the concept of state creation in international law and relevant sovereignty referendums. The cases include Cyprus, East Timor, South Sudan, Montenegro, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Quebec, Puerto Rico and New Caledonia. It also examines, in detail, the politics and law of the following issues wherever applicable: democracy, peace building, post-conflict societies, ethnic cleavages, inter-communal trust, security and peace keeping in war/conflict-torn zones. Also, there are separate sections in the book that describe and discuss the basic concepts in contemporary international law such as, decolonization, devolution, self-determination and secession. Further, the role of the UN and other regional actors such as the European Union in the resolution of territorial/ethnic conflicts appear as one of the prevailing themes of the book. Finally, the European integration-and now “disintegration” with the Brexit-is another subject that is examined in detail.

He taught constitutional law for several years in Turkey. He also spent one year at University of Geneva, Switzerland as a guest researcher and took part as a Research fellow in “Research Lab: Constitutional Politics in Turkey” funded by University of Humboldt Berlin-Germany.

Gökhan has a continuing interest in Direct Democracy, Comparative Constitutional Law, Electoral Integrity, Theories of Constitution-Making, Turkish Constitutional Politics and Law, Human Rights and Democracy Education. He is the author of several books and articles in English and Turkish on these subjects. Interdisciplinary approach is the key to his research method. Currently he coordinates an online course collaborating with the off-university, Germany and pursues his research on authoritarian legalism and populist constitutionalism.