Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Makrosoziologie

Bernhard Forchtner, Ph. D.

Bernhard Forchtner Ph. D.
Wiss. Mitarb.
forchtnb (at)


  • Understanding discourses on ecology by far-right groups (parties as well as independent periodicals; ‘moderates’ as well as radicals): how do these groups reproduce their internal ties (which evaluations, stories, etc. do they put forward?) and how do they position themselves in front of a wider public (i.e. to what extend/ how do they compromise their stance) via environmental topics)?
  • The project is financed by the European Union (Marie Curie, project number 327595).



  • PhD Sociology and Linguistics/ Discourse Studies, Lancaster University, UK, June 2011.
  • Diplom-Sozialwissenschaft (Sociology and Political Science), Department of Social Sciences, Humboldt University, Germany, August 2007.


FIELDS OF ACADEMIC INTEREST (in alphabetical order)

(Un)civil society, environmental sociology, memory studies, national identities/ European identity, qualitative methods (discourse analysis), sociological theory, the far-right.



  • Wodak, R. and Forchtner, B. (contracted). The Routledge Handbook of Language and Politics. Oxon: Routledge.
  • Forchtner, B. (contracted). Lessons from the Past? Rhetorics of Learning and the Politics of Memory [working title]. London: Palgrave.


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (peer reviewed articles)

  • Forchtner, B. and Kølvraa, C. (forthcoming, 2015): The Nature of Nationalism: ‘Populist Radical Right Parties’ on Countryside and Climate, in: Nature & Culture, 10.
  • Efe, I. and Forchtner, B. (forthcoming, 2015): ‘Saying sorry’ in Turkey: the Dersim massacre of the 1930s in 2011 in: Journal of Language and Politics, 14(4).
  • Forchtner, B. (forthcoming, 2014): Rhetorics of judge-penitence: claiming moral superiority through admissions of past wrongdoing, in: Memory Studies, 7(4).
  • Wodak, R. and Forchtner, B. (2014): Embattled Vienna 1683/2010: right-wing populism, collective memory and the fictionalisation of politics, in: Visual Communication. 13(2): 231-255.
  • Forchtner, B. and Kølvraa, C. (2012): The desire for unity in Austrian and Danish Postwar-film: the case of ‘Der Bockerer’ (1981) and ‘Matador’ (1978), in: Zeitgeschichte, 39(6): 388-402.
  • Forchtner, B. and Kølvraa, C. (2012): Narrating a ‘new Europe’: from “bitter past” to self-righteousness, in: Discourse & Society, 23(4): 1-24.
  • Wodak, R., Krzyżanowski, M. and Forchtner, B. (2012): The interplay of language ideologies and contextual cues in multilingual interactions: language choice and code-switching in European Union organizations, in: Language in Society, 41(2): 157-186.
  • Forchtner, B. and Tominc, A. (2012): Critique and argumentation: on the relation between the discourse-historical approach and pragma-dialectics, in: Journal for Language and Politics, 11(1): 31-50.
  • Forchtner, B. (2011): Pride and prejudice in post-heroic public spheres, in: Culture and Education. 6: 5-24.
  • Forchtner, B. (2011): Critique, the discourse-historical approach and the Frankfurt School, in: Critical Discourse Studies, 8(1): 1-14.


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (book chapters/ edited volumes/ book reviews)

  • Forchtner, B. and Kolvraa, C. (forthcoming, 2014): Peace and unity: imagining EUrope in the founding fathers’ house-museums, in: Reading, A. and Katriel, T. (Eds). Braving Power: Cultural Memories of Nonviolent Struggle. London: Palgrave.
  • Forchtner, B. (forthcoming, 2014): Kritik – Diskurs – Argumentation in der Kritischen Diskursanalyse: Theorie und Methode einer Habermas’schen Diskursanalyse, in: Langer, A., Nonhoff, M. and Reisigl, M. (Eds). Diskursanalyse und Kritik. Wiesbaden: VS.
  • Forchtner, B. and Wodak, R. (forthcoming, 2014): The semiotics of far-right populism: negotiating audiences in the Austrian Freedom Party’s The Blue Planet, in: Virchow, F. (Eds). The Far Right and Visual Politics. Wiesbaden: VS.
  • Forchtner, B. (2014): Historia Magistra Vitae: The Topos of History as a Teacher in public struggles over self- and other representation, in: Hart, C. and Cap, P. (Eds). Contemporary Studies in Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Bloomsbury. 19-43.
  • Forchtner, B. (2014): Multilingual practices in the European Commission, in: Unger, J. W, Krzyżanowski, M. and Wodak, R. (Eds). Multilingual Encounters in Europe’s Institutional Spaces. New York: Continuum. 151-173.
  • Forchtner, B., Krzyżanowski, M. and Wodak, R. (2013): Mediatisation, right-wing populism and political campaigning: the case of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), in: Tolson, A. and Ekström, M. (Eds). Media Talk and Political Elections in Europe and America. London: Palgrave. 205-228.
  • Forchtner, B. (2012): Critical Discourse Analysis, in: Chapelle, C. A. (Ed). The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Forchtner, B. (2011): Metaphor, Nation and the Holocaust by Andreas Musolff, in: Journal of Language and Politics, 10(4): 615-619.
  • Forchtner, B. (2011): Social Theory in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. Second Edition. By Patrick Baert and Filipe Carreira da Silva, in: Sociological Research Online, 16:2.



  • Forchtner, B., Rhetoriken des Lernens: Krise, Deutung und der Topos der Geschichte als Lehrmeisterin des Lebens. 37. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Trier, Deutschland. 6-10. Oktober 2014.
  • Forchtner, B., Playing fields of collective learning: Bourdieu, Critical Theory and the Discourse Historical Approach. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines. Budapest, Hungary. 1-3 September 2014.
  • Forchtner, B., Far-right discourses on the environment: the Austrian case. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines. Budapest, Hungary. 1-3 September 2014.
  • Forchtner, B. and Kølvraa, C., Making anti-war history in Europe – once and for all. Resisting War in the 20th Century. Lisbon, Portugal. 27 February to 1 March 2014.
  • Forchtner, B., Communicating environmental crises: sovereignty, ‘risk society’, and the far-right. ESA 2013. Torino, Italy. 28-31 August 2013.
  • Forchtner, B. and Weicht, B., Performing euthanasia: civil society on ageing, free will and a fulfilled life. ESA 2013. Torino, Italy. 28-31 August 2013.
  • Forchtner, B. and Kølvraa, C., Glocalising the “age of apology” in the genre of EUropean speculative speeches. SLE. Stockholm, Sweden. 29 August – 1 September 2012.
  • Forchtner, B., On the discursive construction of a “new Europe”: from “bitter past” to self-righteousness? Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines 2012. Braga, Portugal. 4-6 July 2012.
  • Forchtner, B., The discursive construction of ‘post-national Europe’ via the (mis)uses of ‘historia magistra vitae’ and rhetorics of judge-penitence. 6th European Consortium for Political Science. Reykjavik, Iceland. 25-27 August 2011.
  • Forchtner, B. and Tominc, A., Is the Pragma-Dialectical theory of argumentation an obstacle for a coherent notion of emancipatory critique in the Discourse-Historical Approach? Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines 2010. Łodz, Poland. 13-15 September 2010.
  • Forchtner, B., Multilingual practices in the European Commission: power in meetings. Sociolinguistik Symposium. Southampton, United Kingdom. 1-4 September 2010.
  • Forchtner, B. and Tominc, A. Rationality in Pragma-Dialectics: Critical Rationalism or the communication a priori? 7th Conference on Argumentation of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 29 June - 02 July 2010.
  • Forchtner, B. Nazi-collaboration, confessions of wrong-doing and the legitimation of the Iraq war in Denmark: a judge-penitent perspective. 2nd International Conference on Political Linguistics. Łodz, Poland. 17-19 September 2009.
  • Forchtner, B. Confessions of guilt as moral-practical learning or claims to power – the case of the judge-penitent. British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2009. Cardiff, United Kingdom. 15-17 April 2009.
  • Forchtner, B. Probing the shady side of forgiveness – the 'judge-penitent discourse' as a conceptualisation of the misuse of confessions of guilt. 2nd Global Conference: Forgiveness – Probing the Boundaries. Salzburg, Austria. 13-16 March 2009.
  • Forchtner, B. Performing the 'judge-penitent' – emergence and regression of the German perpetrator trauma. Cultural Memory: Forgetting to Remember / Remembering to Forget. Kent, United Kingdom. 10-13 September 2008.



  • Forchtner, B. Deutungen ökologischer Krisen im europäischen Rechtspopulismus und Rechtsradikalismus. Tagung Naturschutz und Rechtsradikalismus - Gegenwärtige Entwicklungen, Probleme, Abgrenzungen und Steuerungsmöglichkeiten II. Vilm. 16-19 June 2014.
  • Forchtner, B. On the discursive construction of a ‘reformed/ing subject’. Charles University, Prague. 8 October 2013.
  • Forchtner, B. Critical Discourse Analysis: theory/ies and method/s. Charles University, Prague. 7 October 2013.



Wilhelm von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow, Humboldt Center for Social and Political Studies, Department of Social Sciences, Humboldt University, Berlin 2011-13.

  • DOC fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2009-2011).
  • Full-time bursary of the Economic and Social Research Council (2007-2010).





Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin



Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Universitätsstraße 3b
10117 Berlin