Associate Professor, Political Science

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

Bernd Bucher received his Ph.D. from the University of St. Gallen in 2011 and held the position of a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bielefeld (faculty of sociology) prior to joining Franklin University Switzerland in 2015.

His primary research interests are located at the intersection of IR theory and sociology. Power, language and contestation practices as well as security dynamics are central to his research which utilizes (historical) discourse analysis and draws on qualitative methods.

He has successfully published in leading academic journals and is currently part of a number of individual and collaborative research projects which focus on applying processual-relational thinking to IR. Bernd Bucher regularly peer reviews for leading academic journals and actively participates in leading international professional associations and conferences.


2023-2024 Courses

POL 101T Introduction to International Relations: Vienna FALL 2023
POL 321 International Organization FALL 2023
POL 101 Introduction to International Relations SPRING 2024
POL 301 Theories of International Relations SPRING 2024
POL 302 Political Philosophy SPRING 2024

Research interests:

Professor Bucher’s work focuses on processual-relational thinking in IR, the role of norms in politics, and the development of international society through multi-actor practices.



Bucher, Bernd (2011) Processual-Relational Thinking and Figurational Sociology in Social Constructivism: The Rogueization of Liberal and Illiberal States. Bamberg: Difo Druck.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:

Bucher, Bernd and Julian Eckl (2020) Football’s Contribution to International Order: The Ludic and Festive Reproduction of International Society by World Societal Actors (with Julian Eckl). International Theory.

Bucher, Bernd (2018) Borders. Inequalities. Legitimacy. Intervalla: A platform for intellectual exchange.

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.

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.

Bucher, Bernd (2015) Moving beyond the substantialist foundations of the agency-structure dichotomy: Figurational thinking in International Relations. Journal of International Relations and Development. AOP. doi:10.1057/jird.2015.12.

Bucher, Bernd (2014) Acting Abstractions: Metaphors, narrative structure and the eclipse of agency. European Journal of International Relations 20(3): 742-765.

Bucher, Bernd (2012) Figurational Sociology and the Democratic Peace - Holy Allies and Liberal Threats. Human Figurations 1(2).

Contributions to edited volumes:

Bernd, Bucher (2014) Liberal Rogues: The pitfalls of Great Power Collaboration and the Stigmatization of Revolutionary Naples in Post-Napoleonic Europe. In: Wagner, Wolfgang, Wouter Werner and Michal Onderco (eds.) Deviance in International Relations. Theorizing the Significance of so-called Rogue states.

Non-peer reviewed contributions:

Bernd, Bucher (2015) Historical International Relations. Academic Foresights No. 14 - July-December 2015.

Awards and Honors:

2015 Travel grant by the German Academic Exchange Service.

2014 Nomination for best conference paper: Von Normerosion und Normkontestation zu Normenkonkurrenz und Normenpolitik. DVPW-Sektion Internationale Politik. Magdeburg, 25.09 - 27.09.2014.

2013 Research grant: research assistance for 6 months and an associated travel grant by the faculty of sociology (University of Bielefeld).

2013 Travel grant by the German Academic Exchange Service.

2011 Travel grant by the International Studies Association.

Current projects:

The role of non-state actors in the development of 19th Century International Society (with Mathias Albert, University of Bielefeld).

Primary Institutions and sovereignty as intertwined processes (with Thomas Müller, University of Bielefeld).

Moving from norm diffusion and norm erosion towards a theoretical framework of norm politics.

The ontological implications of the United States rogue state discourse in the 1990s.