Biography

© FIDH – Andrew Knobloch

Dimitris Christopoulos is a Greek academic, writer and activist. He was born in Athens in 1969 and married to the Greek anchorwoman Marilena Katsimi. Together they have three children.

Current academic status

Christopoulos is a professor of state and legal theory at the Department of Political Science and History of the Panteion University of Athens (www.panteion.gr) where he has been  teaching since 2003. His courses include an Introduction at the European Legal and State Theory, Minorities in Europe, Citizenship and Migration and Art, Freedom and Censorship.  Christopoulos has taught as visiting professor and provided lectures in different universities in Europe and the US.  He has published in Greek, English, French, Portuguese, Hebrew, Albanian and Serbo-Croatian in scientific reviews or journals in the field of legal and political theory focusing on issues related to human rights, the far right, minorities, migrants and citizenship.

Education and professional experience

Christopoulos studied law at the University of Komotini in Greek Thrace (1986-1991) and continued his postgraduate studies (D.E.A) at the Institute of Political Science at the University Robert Schuman in Strasbourg 1991-1992). He obtained a masters’ degree in legal theory at the European Academy for Legal Theory in Brussels (1994-1995) and a PhD in public law at the University Jules Verne  of Picardie (Amiens) in France from which he graduated in 1996. His Phd, under the supervision of Professor Alain Fenet, dealt with the issue of minorities in Europe from a normative analytical perspective (cf. publications 1).

From 1993 to 1994 he worked at the Council of Europe as temporary staff at the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly and at the Service of Editions and Documentation. From 1996 to 1998, he joined the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Missions in Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina first as election coordinator, then as senior human rights officer and finally as Head-of-Office.  Once he returned to Greece in 1998, he began working as a senior investigator at the Office of the Greek Ombudsman and taught for three years as adjunct professor at the Political Science Department of the Aristotelion University of Thessalonica until 2003 when he was hired as lecturer at Panteion University.

From 2001 to 2009, he was the Manager of the Eunomia institution-building project of the Greek Ombudsman, a project aiming at the promotion and networking of the ombudsman institutions in Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus region under the auspices of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe.

Civic commitment

With Kostas Tsitselikis, he co-founded in 1996 the Minority Groups Research Centre (KEMO), the first Greek independent think tank on minority issues gathering a number of 40 – mainly Greek – academics and experts on minorities and migrants (www.kemo.gr). From 1999 till 2013, they have been directing the “KEMO Series of Studies” which has already published 15 different volumes dedicated to the study of migration and the minority phenomenon in Greece.

From 2003 to 2011 and after eight years on the administrative board, he served as President of the Hellenic League for Human Rights (www.hlhr.gr), the oldest and largest Greek NGO acting in the field of human rights and an affiliated member of FIDH, the International Federation for Human Rights (www.fidh.org). From July 2011 to 2013, he served as the League’s Vice President. During this period, the Greek League for Human Rights developed to the point of becoming a prestigious human rights association consulted by media, political parties, NGOs and International Organizations operating in Greece. In May 2013 he was elected FIDH Vice President. He was elected President of FIDH on August 27th 2016 in Johannesburg and has lead the organization till October 2019. At the 40th FIDH Congress in Taiwan he was elected honorary president

Christopoulos is frequently interviewed by international and Greek media. He writes regularly for the Greek press, contributing to the promotion of a human rights awareness culture in the country, particularly as the country faces a financial crisis, handles the arrival of migrants and refugees as well as the issue of the far right rising in Greece and in Europe.

Other affiliations

  • Member of the Athens Bar Association
  • Member of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights from 2008 to 2015 (www.nchr.gr).
  • Since 2009, he is the Greek national expert of the European Union Democracy Observatory (EUDO) providing reports and information on acquisition and loss of citizenship in Europe. (www.eudo-citizenship.eu)  and participates as national expert in different research international activities.
  • From 2010 to 2016, he is the Greek senior expert of the Fundamental Rights Agency Focal Point in Greece for the needs of the FRALEX project of FRA http://fra.europa.eu/en/tags/fralex

His books include :

(author)
  1. Droit, Europe et minorités – Critique de la connaissance juridique, Sakkoulas, Athens, 2000 (438 p.).
  2. Η ετερότητα ως σχέση εξουσίας (Otherness as a power relation) , Kritiki, Athens 2002, (303 p. in Greek).
  3. Ποιος είναι έλληνας πολίτης; Το καθεστώς της ελληνικής ιθαγένειας από την ίδρυση του ελληνικού κράτος στις αρχές του 21ου αιώνα. (Who is a Greek citizen? The status of the Greek Nationality from the creation of the Greek State to the down of the 21st century ) Viviliorama Pub. 2012 (404 p. in Greek).
  4. Στο ρίσκο της κρίσης – Στρατηγικές της αριστεράς των δικαιωμάτων (At risk in the crisis – Left human rights strategies) Alexandreia Pub.  2013 (213 p. in Greek).
  5. H κρίση των δικαιωμάτων (The crisis of rights) , Χbooks, 2015, (167 p, in Greek).
  6. [with Georgia Spyropoulou], Προσφυγικό: «θα τα καταφέρουμε»; Ένας απολογισμός διαχείρισης και προτάσεις διεξέδου, (Refugees: “Will we make it”? A management account and recommendations for a way out), Papazisis Pub. Athens, 2016 (118 p. in Greek).
  7. [with Kostis Karpozilos], 10+1 Eρωτήσεις & Απαντήσεις για το Μακεδονικό (10+1 Questions & Answers on the Macedonian Question), Polis Pub. Athens, 2018 (96 p. in Greek). The book has been translated to English and Macedonian and is freely accessible on the net: https://www.rosalux.de/fileadmin/images/EnglishWS/publications/macedonia/MAKEDONIKO.pdf
([co-]editor)
  1. Το μειονοτικό φαινόμενο στην Ελλάδα (The Minority Phenomenon in Greece), with K. Tsitselikis, Ed. Kritiki, Athens 1998, 4th edition, (461 p. in Greek)
  2. Νομικά ζητήματα θρησκευτικής ετερότητας (Legal Issues of Religious Otherness) Kritiki, Athens, 1999 (330 p. in Greek).
  3. Η γλωσσική ετερότητα στην Ελλάδα (Minority languages in Greece) with L. Baltsiotes, S. Beis, L. Empirikos, A. Ioannidou, E. Karatzola, Ed. Alexandreia, Athens, 2001 (393 p.).
  4. Η ελληνική μειονότητα της Αλβανίας (Τhe Greek minority of Albania) with K. Tsitselikis, Ed. Kritiki, Athens 2003 ( p. 340 in Greek).
  5. Τα δικαιώματα στην Ελλάδα από το τέλος του εμφυλίου ως το τέλος της μεταπολίτευσης (Human Rights in Greece from the end of the civil war to the end of “change of regime”) 1953-2003, with M. Tsapogas, Ed. Kastanioti, Athens 2004 (p. 517 in Greek).
  6. Η Ελλάδα της μετανάστευσης (Migration’s Greece) with M. Pavlou, Ed. Kritiki, Athens, 2004, (p. 420 in Greek).
  7. – The Ombudsman in Southeastern Europe, with D. Hormovitis, Ed. Sakkoulas – Bruylant, Athens-Brussels, 2005 (353 p. ).
  8. Όψεις λογοκρισίας στην Ελλάδα (Aspects of censorship in Greece)  with L. Karabinis, G. Ziogas, Y. Stavrakakis Athens, Nefeli, 2008 (346 p.).
  9. Το ανομολόγητο ζήτημα των μειονοτήτων στην ελληνική έννομη τάξη (The unspoken issue of minorities in the Greek legal order) Athens, kritiki,2009 (216 p. in Greek).
  10. Iδιότητα του πολίτη: Πολιτικός λόγος, κανόνες, ιστορία σε συγκριτικές προοπτικές (Questioning citizenship: Political Discourse, Norms and History in Comparative Perspectives) with G. Kouzelis, Athens, Patakis Ed., Athens, 2012, (p 324 in Greek).
  11. O θεός δεν έχει ανάγκη εισαγγελέα – Εκκλησία, βλασφημία και Χρυσή Αυγή (God does not need an attorney Church, blasphemy and Golden Dawn), Hellenic League for Human Rights, Athens, 2013, p. 145 in Greek.
  12. Το βαθύ κράτος και η Ακροδεξιά στην Ελλάδα (The Deep State and the Extreme right in contemporary Greece) , Nisos Publcations & Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Athens, 2014 (p. 321, in Greek) English summary at http://rosalux-europa.info/publications/books/right-wing-extremism-in-greece/.
  13. «Όλα μπορούν να λεχθούν» ή υπάρχουν «εκείνα που δεν λέγονται»;, (“All can be said’ or there are “unspoken words”?, Athens, Vivliorama Pub., 2015 (p. 190, in Greek).
  14. Η λογοκρισία στην Ελλάδα (Censorship in Greece, with Penelope Petsini, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation – Athens, 2016. The book is freely available on the net: https://rosalux.gr/sites/default/files/publications/logokrisies_web.pdf
  15. Λεξικό λογοκρισίας στην Ελλάδα (Dictionary of Censorship in Greece) with Penelope Petsini, Kastaniotis Pub. (p. 543 in Greek)