International Relations and Political Science

Welcome to the Department of International Relations and Political Science at Franklin University Switzerland.

Our department provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of International Relations and Political Science. We seek to combine research and teaching in a Humboldtian fashion to give our students a skill set to assess the complexities of global relations independently, analytically and critically. As such, our programs are rigorous and demanding, and enable students to manage complex projects and independent research by the end of their studies. Actively preparing students for their upcoming academic or professional path lies at the heart of our mission. We take pride in the advising and support we provide for our students and alumni.

Our teaching and research build upon theoretical, quantitative and qualitative analyses to assess contemporary political issues. We draw on sociology, history and economics, and encourage our students to use diverse tools originating in those disciplines.

The interdisciplinary study of politics is becoming increasingly important in a complex, globalized and interdependent world. Our programs also look at the role of stakeholders in real world processes. The abundance of influential IOs, INGOs and multinational corporations in Switzerland provides us with a wonderful location to gain practical experience.


Research and Initiatives

Bernd Bucher Publishes in the European Journal of International Relations

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Franklin, Bernd Bucher, and Ursula Jasper, Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at the ETH Zürich, have recently published “Revisiting ‘Identity’ in International Relations: From Identity as Substance to Identifications in Action” in the highly prestigious European Journal of International Relations.

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Publication Highlights

Bucher, Bernd and Ursula Jasper (2016) ‘Revisiting ‘identity’ in International Relations: From identity as substance to identifications in action. European Journal of International Relations. doi:10.1177/1354066116644035.

Cordon, R and Herden, T., "The Evolving Nature of Multinational Diplomacy", Diplomatist Annual Edition 2016.

Bucher, Bernd, Martin Koch and Jochen Walter (2015) UN-Simulationen in der politikwissenschaftlichen Hochschullehre (Using UN Security Council simulations in teaching introductory courses to IR). Zeitschrift für Didaktik der Gesellschaftswissenschaften. 6(2): 136-149.

Majors and Minors

International Relations

The major in International Relations is designed for students who wish to deepen their knowledge and understanding of this multi-disciplinary field. Students receive a solid foundation for a variety of careers in areas such as diplomatic and government service, international organizations, international business, journalism, law and banking. Many graduates have also chosen to pursue graduate study in related areas. In this major students take core courses in political science, economics and history and undertake interdisciplinary work in areas such as languages, cultural studies or communications. The major aims to provide students with the instruments and techniques to analyze complex phenomena in the era of globalization.

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International Relations with an Emphasis in Political Economy

This major is designed for students interested in the broad field of international relations but who wish to have a stronger focus on issues of political economy, that have become critical in today’s globalized world. The interdisciplinary electives also encourage students to explore related fields such as business, where politico-economic issues play an important role. The IR-PE major provides a solid foundation for a variety of careers and graduate study in areas such as diplomatic service, international organizations, international business, journalism, law and banking. The discipline of political economy is increasingly becoming a fundamental component of graduate business and management programs.

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Political Science

Political Science is one of the oldest intellectual and academic disciplines. From Aristotle and Plato, to Machiavelli and Aquinas, to modern analysts and statesmen, political scientists have been concerned with issues of power, governance, public policy, social behavior and interactions among nation-states, among many others. Courses required for this major include all major sub-disciplines of this field: Political Theory, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Economy, as well as Research Methodologies. The interdisciplinary electives encourage students to look at political issues from the perspective of other disciplines. Compared to the more applied major in International Relations, the major in Political Science is more humanistic and disciplinary. This major provides an excellent preparation for graduate study and careers in fields such as law, journalism, consulting, development assistance, or education.

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Projects and Activities


29. January

Prof. Morris Mottale will attend a one-day conference on cyber security entitled: Siamo pronti alla minaccia cyber? The conference will be held at the Municipio di Chiasso’s Sala del Consiglio Comunale (19:30) and address current cyber security related challenges.

30. January

Lecture Series

We are very proud to welcome Prof. James W. Davis to campus on January 30. 2019.

Prof. Davis is currently the director of the Institute for Political Science at the University of St. Gallen (IPW-HSG) and Professor for Political Science with a special focus on international politics. Prof. Davis also currently serves as the Dean of the School of Economics and Political Science and chairs the Centre for Security Economics and Technology (CSET-IPW-HSG). Prof. Davis has not only substantially contributed to the discipline of IR in terms of service and research. In recent years Prof. Davis has also become an active contributor to public debates and an active advisor on current and future challenges (e.g. as a member of the expert committee of the Federal Chancellor’s Dialogue on the Future). His primary fields of interest include international security, methods of political science, political psychology, and transatlantic relations.

Prof. James Davis will speak on ‘The Future of War’ and provide an opportunity for Q and A following the presentation.

You are happily invited to join us in the Nielsen auditorium at 18h on January 30th. The event will be followed by an apero in the Kaletsch Campus Conference room.



In February (14 -16), the Swiss Political Science Association will hold its annual conference and host a trilateral conference co-sponsored by the Austrian and German Political Science Associations (Dreiländertagung). The conference will be held in Zürich at the ETH. The Conference theme focuses on the current strain on transatlantic relations and will specifically ask about ‘the end of the West?’

Prof. Bucher will present a working paper (From Norm Erosion to the Politics of Norms) in the context of a panel sponsored by the International Political Sociology group.