John D. Occhipinti, PhD Chair and Professor of Political Science

John D. Occhipinti, PhD

Office: LY-222
Phone: 888-2799

John D. Occhipinti joined the faculty in 1996 and is director of the European Studies program. He was first elected Department Chair in 2009.

Dr. Occhipinti has published extensively on international police cooperation and internal security policy in the EU, including The Politics of EU Police Cooperation: Toward a European FBI?  (Lynne Rienner, 2003). His more recent publications include, “Parallel Paths and Productive Partners: the E.U. and U.S. on Counter-Terrorism,” in Frederic Lemieux (ed.), Emerging Initiatives and Contemporary Obstacles in Police Cooperation (2010); “Partner or Push-Over? EU Relations with the US on Internal Security” in Dan Hamilton (ed.) Shoulder to Shoulder: Forging a Strategic US-EU Partnership (2010); “Availability by Stealth? EU Information Sharing in Transatlantic Perspective,” in Christian Kaunert and Sarah Leonard (eds.), European Security, Terrorism and Intelligence (2013); “Whither the Withering Democratic Deficit?  The Impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the AFSJ,” Cambridge Review of International Affairs (2103); “Still Moving Toward a European FBI? Re-Examining the Politics of EU Police Cooperation,” Intelligence and National Security (2014); and “The Governance of Transnational Crime” in James Sperling (ed.) Handbook on Governance and Security (2014).

Dr. Occhipinti travels regularly to Europe to conduct his research and present his work at conferences. He has also spoken at many college and universities in the US and Europe, lectured for the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, presented his research on several occasions at the U.S. State Department and participated in some its analytical projects. In 2005 and 2009, Dr. Occhipinti briefed newly appointed U.S. ambassadors to the European Union regarding transatlantic relations on internal security. He is currently serving as an elected member of the executive board for the European Union Studies Association (EUSA), the premier international professional organization for the study of the EU.

At Canisius, Dr. Occhipinti’s course on “Comparative Government and Politics” (PSC 150) introduces students to politics outside the United States and employs the cooperative team learning approach in which students learn from each other while working in small groups. Dr. Occhipinti also teaches on “Transnational Crime after 9/11” (PSC 345), which features guest speakers from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. His course in the College’s All-College Honors Program, “War and Peace after 9/11” (HON 231), introduces students to key issues in world politics and challenges for American “power” and leadership on the world stage.

Each fall, Dr. Occhipinti teaches a course on the European Union (PSC 355) that relies on a mix of multi-media power point presentations, active learning and student presentations. Related to this course, he is the advisor for the EuroSim student club, which helps students prepare for an annual international, intercollegiate simulation of the European Union, held in Europe and the US in alternating years. When EuroSim is hosted in Europe, Dr. Occhipinti guides his students on 10 days of travel and touring in several European cities. Over the years, he has traveled with students to Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland. In 2015 he will prepare and guide his students for EuroSim at Skidmore College in Saratoga Spring, New York, followed by the University of Antwerp (Belgium) in 2016.

Dr. Occhipinti is a native of Buffalo and a graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. He earned his BA from Colgate University, where he majored in international relations and German literature and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. While an undergraduate, Dr. Occhipinti studied in Freiburg, Germany. After graduation, he returned to Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, this time in Tübingen in 1989-1990, when the Berlin Wall was opened. He earned his MA and PhD in government and politics from the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Occhipinti’s doctoral field research was conducted in Berlin on the transformation of the East German police after German unity.



  • European Police (Europol)
  • Crime & Policing in Europe, European Politics, (China/India/Mexico/Nigeria/Russia/U.K.)