Welcome to the Division of Communication, History and Politics.

The Division of Communication, History and Politics (CHP) focuses on the development of societies, human relations and organizations over time, linking research and teaching to enable students to develop strong disciplinary cores, and the ability to work in an interdisciplinary way. The CHP majors lay theoretical and empirical foundations, provide methodological skills to plan and conduct independent research and projects, and lastly, familiarize students with academic practices and current disciplinary standards. These provide an excellent starting point to pursue graduate education and / or specialized professional training. But today’s challenges often transcend disciplinary boundaries. CHP offers small classroom settings and ensures that our courses are predominantly taught by full-time faculty. You will have the opportunity to closely work with your professors and advisor from your first day at Franklin to the successful completion of your class projects, internships and / or senior thesis.

Animated by a notion of the Liberal Arts that builds bridges between the theoretical and the practical, the creative and the analytical, the academic and the experiential, the CHP courses are interdisciplinary in their approach and rigorous in their methodologies, preparing students to envision innovative solutions for real-world challenges.

The CHP professors are experts in their fields and generously share insights from their research. Experiential and creative learning is one of the hallmarks of Franklin, offering a personalized and supportive learning environment to guide students through their academic path.

Students with degrees from CHP will be prepared to enter graduate and specialized studies. Professional outlets are pursuing careers in law, business, diplomacy, government, international organizations and NGOs, journalism and education.


Chair of the Academic Division of Communication, History and Politics

Ph.D. University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
M.A. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany

Office: Lowerre  Academic Center, Office 16 
Phone: +41 91 985 22 63
Email: bbucher@fus.edu

Bernd Bucher

Adjunct Professor, Communication and Media Studies

Ph.D. University of Rome "La Sapienza"

Email: nbarile@fus.edu

Nello Barile

Executive in Residence, International Management and International Relations

Ph.D. Study (ABD), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA
M.A. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA
B.S.E. Princeton University, USA

Office: Lowerre Academic Center, North Campus, Office 7
Phone: +41 91 986 36 71
Email: rcordon@fus.edu

Roberto Cordon

Associate Professor, History

Ph.D. National University of Ireland
M.A. National University of Ireland

Office: Lowerre Academic Center, North Campus, Office 8
Phone: +41 91 986 36 39
Email: fhoey@fus.edu

Fintan Hoey

Professor, International Relations and Political Science

Ph.D. York University, Canada
M.A. San Diego State University, USA
B.A. San Diego State University, USA

Office: Kaletsch Campus, Office 5 
Phone: +41 91 985 22 77
Email: mmottale@fus.edu

Morris Mottale

Associate Professor, History

Ph.D. Ludwigs Maximilians Universität München, Germany
M.A. Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms Universität Bonn, Germany

Office: Lowerre Academic Center, North Campus, Office 12
Phone: +41 91 986 36 37
Email: mpyka@fus.edu

Marcus Pyka

Assistant Professor, International Relations and Political Science

Ph.D, City University of Hong Kong
MA and BA, Sciences Po Paris

Office: Kaletsch Campus, Office 3 
Phone: +41 91 985 22 64
Email: jschwak@fus.edu

Juliette Schwak

Professor, Communication and Media Studies

Ph.D. Rutgers University, USA
M.A. Wake Forest University, USA
B.A. Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan

Office: Lowerre Academic Center, North Campus, Office 9
Phone: +41 91 986 36 57
Email: ssugiyama@fus.edu

Satomi Sugiyama

Professor Emeritus, Political Science and International Management

Ph.D. University of Oregon, USA
M.A. Old Dominion University, USA
B.S. Old Dominion University, USA

Office: Kaletsch Campus, Emeritus Office 9
Phone: +41 91 986 53 41
Email: azanecchia@fus.edu


Armando Zanecchia

Research and Initiatives

Dr. Bernd Bucher Dr. Julian Eckl publishing in “International Theory”

Conceptualizing and examining the role of world sports events in international society.

Read more

Publication Highlights

Sugiyama, S. (2019). Wearable technologies: Fashion, size and visibility. InA. Mascio, R. Menarini, S. Reinach, & I. Tolic (eds). The Size Effect: Measuring Design, Fashion and Media. Mimesis International. 

Barile, N., & Sugiyama, S. (2018). Wearing Data: From McLuhan’s “Extended Skin” to the Integration Between Wearable Technologies and a New Algorithmic Sensibility. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture. DOI: 10.1080/1362704X.2018.1514847

Sugiyama, S. (2018). Exploration of expected interaction norms with a social robot in everyday life: A case of twitter analysis in Japan (long abstract). M. Funk et al. (eds). Envisioning Robots in Society—Politics, Power, and Public Space.  IOS Press Ebooks.

Vogelaar, A. E. and McKernan, C. M. (2018), Making Space for a Revolution: Occupy Wall Street as a Maker Movement, In J. Hunsinger and A. Schrock, Making our World: The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context(eds) Digital Formations, Peter Lang. 

Vogelaar, A. E., Hale, B. W. and Peat, A. P. (Eds) (2018). The Discourses of Environmental Collapse. Routledge. 

Gee, G. and Vogelaar A. E. (Eds) (2018). Nature and City: Changing Representations, 1960s-1970s. Routledge. 

Shanahan, F., Seele, P. and Vogelaar, A. (2018). Persuasion. In Ø. Ihlen & R. L. Heath (Eds.)TheHandbook of Organizational Rhetoric and Communication: Foundations of Dialogue, Discourse, Narrative, and Engagement,Wiley. 

Sugiyama, S. (2017). The image of wearable ICTs: an exploration from a fashion perspective In G. Motta, & A. Biagini (eds.), Fashion through History: Costumes, Symbols, Communication (vol. II). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. 

Barile, N., & Sugiyama, S. (2016). I am Her(e): Physical/cognitive robots and human intimacy in the imagery of Spike Jonze’s movies. J. Seibt, M. Nørskov, & S. S. Andersen (eds.), What social robots can and should do (pp. 335 – 339). IOS Press Ebooks. DOI 10.3233/978-1-61499-708-5-335

Sugiyama, S. (2015). Kawaii meiru and Maroyaka neko: Mobile emoji for relationship maintenance and aesthetic expressions among Japanese teens. First Monday, 20 (10), DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v20i10.5826 http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/5826

Barile, N. (2015). Branding the self in the age of emotional capitalism: The exploitation of prosumers, from the rhetoric of “double bind” to the hegemony of confession. LOGOS, 25.

Barile, N., & Sugiyama, S. (2015). The automation of taste: A theoretical exploration of mobile ICTs and social robots in the context of music consumption. International Journal of Social Robotics, 7(3), 407-416. DOI: 10.1007/s12369-015-0283-1

Bova, A. (2015). Promoting learning and development of students through argumentative interactions in the classroom. A study of the teacher’s questions in the learning contexts of higher education. Teaching Innovations, 28(3), 130-144. doi: 10.5937/inovacije1503130B

Vogelaar, A. and Hale, B. (2014). Constituting Swiss Heritage: Discourse and the Management of Invasive Species International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 3(2), pp. 130-149.

Projects and Activities

Lecture Series

Thanks to the support of our Trustee Laurent Belet, Prof. Bucher and the politics faculty regularly organize public lectures focusing on contemporary challenges and possible solutions. Over the course of each academic year, we invite leading scholars from diverse disciplines which addressed not only Franklin students and faculty, but Alumni and the Lugano community at large.

Some of our past speakers include:

  • Prof. Dr. Jean-Patrick Villeneuve (USI): Managing in a Glass House - The Limits of Transparency
  • Prof. James W. Davis PhD (University of St. Gallen): The Future of War
  • Dr. Beatrice Eugster (University of Bern): Are Swiss islamophobic?  A description and explanation of anti-Muslim attitudes in Switzerland
  • Stephen Browne (FUNDS): Can the UN be reformed?
  • PD Dr. Martin Beckstein (University of Zurich): How to Immunize the Democratic Community
  • Dr. Julian Eckl (University of St. Gallen): Zooming in on the Challenges of Global Health Governance Practitioners
  • Dr. Sarah Son (University of Sheffield): Looking at North Korea from the Sky: Geospatial Mapping in North Korean Human Rights Monitoring

Open Divisional meetings and the Research Forum

The Division of Communication, History and Politics now regularly conducts divisional meetings that focus on faculty research projects and that are open to students and faculty from other divisions.

At a broader level, we also traditionally organize the FUS Research Forum which aims to provide FUS faculty members across disciplines with a platform to discuss research in its early stages and to enter into an ongoing intellectual exchange. Over the years we have had many contributions with topics ranging from a comparative lexical-stylistic analysis of William Shakespeare and John Florio to grasping the development of voter behavior in Germany, to empirically measuring how European Banks work in practice.

Should you be interested in setting up a Research Forum, please contact: bbucher@faculty.fus.edu


Profs Bernd Bucher and Juliette Schwak are collaborating with Prof. Giulia Miniero (Division of Business and Economics) on a research project focused on the role of (negative) emotions in group formation processes. Adopting a discourse analysis methodology, this project takes a processual-relational perspective and specifically focuses on ‘practices of hating’ in online forums to better understand the relationship of cognitive and emotional dimensions of actions and their role in generating and upholding group cohesion. Research workshops with invited participants are currently planned for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Prof. Roberto Cordon has contributed a chapter entitled Globalization and Economic Transformation in Brazil: The Role of Human Capital (co-written with Prof. Nicolas Depetris Chauvin of the Haute École de Gestion, Geneva) to a research project on “Trends in the Global Political Economy and their Impact on Management Policies and Human Resources Practices in the BRICS Countries". This research project is sponsored by the International Labor Organization (ILO), and the resulting book is currently in the final stages of editing. Prof. Cordon presented his work at the World Congress of the International Labor and Employment Relations Association (ILERA) in June 2021, and addressed related issues at the India Global Dialogue in February 2021, sponsored by The Diplomatist magazine.

Prof. Fintan Hoey is currently part of an exciting global research consortium on the Constitutional History of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to which I will be contributing a study of Japan’s role in the emergence of the treaty regime. The project will involve workshops in Southhampton, UK and Washington DC and will result in a major publication on the NPT as well as a series of policy background briefing papers for participants in the Treaty’s Review Conference. 


Professor Schwak interviewed on the French national radio station ‘France Culture’ 

Professor Juliette Schwak from the Division of Communication, History and Politics at Franklin has recently been interviewed in the ‘Cultures Monde’ program of the French national radio "France Culture." 

The episode was part of a series on the politics of Made in Asia focusing on South Korean industrial dynasties, the chaebol. Professor Schwak is a specialist in South Korea’s political economy, and she has published several articles in leading outlets on state-business relationships in South Korea. In particular, she has recently explored the challenges of reforming the chaebol to limit their dominance over South Korea’s economy. 

In the program, she discusses chaebol’s weight in South Korea’s economy and the criticisms and reform attempts faced since the country’s democratization in the late 1980s. As she explains in the program: "The chaebol benefit from a certain aura because they embody South Korea’s economic miracle, and many South Koreans are proud of their achievements. At the same time there is strong public resentment against the chaebol: they make up more than 80% of Korea’s GDP but they only create about 10% of all jobs in the country. Many South Koreans also see them as concentrating economic opportunities and creating social inequalities. And on the other side of the political spectrum, economic liberals accuse the chaebol of hindering industrial innovation." French-speakers can listen to the program’s podcast: Corée du Sud: le pouvoir des dynasties industrielles - Ép. 4/4 - La force du Made in Asia (franceculture.fr)

Dr. Schwak was invited to give a guest lecture at University of York.  

 In February 2021, the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York (UK) welcomed Dr. Schwak from Franklin University Switzerland for a guest lecture. In this lecture entitled ‘Exporting K- quarantine: Korea’s promotion of its COVID management strategy’, Dr. Schwak explored the South Korean government’s recent strategy to share its COVID-19 policies with foreign counterparts. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Korea has initially been one of the few countries to limit the spread of the disease. Many state leaders have turned to the Moon government to ask for help in dealing with the health crisis. The Korean government has expressed its formula for fighting the disease as ‘trace, test and treat’ (TTT), and it is currently devising a strategy to export this approach through the ‘K-Quarantine’ model. This talk discussed how the export of ‘K-Quarantine’ fits Moon Jae-in’s strategy of technological leadership and how it responds to Korean administrations’ decades-old export of Korea’s economic development experience. It also showed that ‘K-quarantine’ is a commercial strategy to secure markets for Korea’s health industries, and a promotional strategy in line with Korea’s competitiveness and nation branding concerns. The talk was followed by a Q&A session with faculty and graduate students from the Department.  

Prof. Satomi Sugiyama: Adding touch to our repertoire of everyday mediated interactions?

Mobile communication technologies, from smartphones to wearables, made it possible for us to communicate with our loved ones beyond geographical constraints. We can talk to them, hear them, see them, and feel their presence through technologies on the move even if they are physically absent. Although these technologies largely rely on the interface that we touch as exemplified by the now so familiar touch screen, technological mediation of our touch is still not commonly practiced. Do we desire to communicate our touch, a sense that is heavily intertwined with our affective, emotional experiences, over distance? I am currently exploring why we want or don’t want to add our touch to our repertoire of everyday mediated interactions. This ongoing research has been presented in several conferences in the past year including the “Socially Useful Robots in the era of social distancing and new normal - The needs, applications, barriers and solutions,” European Robotics Forum in April 2021.