I received my PhD from St. Gall University, Switzerland in 1977. In 1983 I completed my Habilitation (postdoctoral degree required in the German academic system) at Konstanz University, Germany. I have been a professor of political science at WLU since 1985.
I came to Canada in 1983 and spent the first two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s University. In 1992 I was invited to write a research paper for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. During the 1994-95 academic year I was research professor at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research in Germany. Shorter visiting research professorships took me to the University of Western Australia (Perth) in 2012, and Darmstadt University (Germany) in 2013. In 2014 I served as UN-adviser to the Constitutional Drafting Commission of the Republic of Yemen.
My research has always focused on two areas of specialization, comparative federalism (including the European Union), and history of political thought. I just finished revisions on the second edition of Comparative Federalism: A Systematic Inquiry, co-authored with Alan Fenna. I am now working on a book on Canadian Federalism. In the history of political thought my focus has been on federalism- and pluralism-related thought, most notably the political theory of Johannes Althusius (1557/63-1638).
Since my work is mainly conceptual, I do not need large research grants. I therefore do not usually have money for research assistantships. But I encourage all students interested in any of my research areas to discuss their interests or term work with me.
I will also be available for supervision of graduate work that falls into my areas of expertise: comparative of Canadian federalism, European integration, federalism as a tool of conflict management, history of political thought.