TUM – Technical University of Munich Menü

Prof. Dr. Tim Büthe

Academic Career and Research Areas

Tim Büthe's research examines the politics of international economic relations. His work primarily focuses on (1) the role of "technical" standards in the governance of international product and financial markets, in medicine and health policy, and for consumer safety; and (2) the causes and consequences of the rapid global diffusion of competition law and policy. Other research interests include political risk analysis, focusing on foreign direct investment, and the potential and limits of private development aid. Overall, his research seeks to advance the theoretical understanding of power, stability and change in political institutions, guided by the expectation that this can ultimately yield practical insights for both public policy and the private sector, e.g. to resolve transnational conflicts and foster international cooperation.
Büthe studied primarily at Harvard University (BA 1995) and Columbia University, New York (Ph.D. 2002). Prior to joining the teaching staff at TUM in 2016 he was Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy (tenured) at Duke University (USA), having previously taught at Stanford University and Columbia University. He has held postdoctoral research appointments at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.


  • Appointment to the World Bank-OECD Global Network of Experts on Competition and Shared Prosperity (2015)
  • International Studies Association Book Award, awarded at the Annual ISA Convention for "the Best Book in the Field of International Studies" (2013)
  • American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS)-DAAD Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German and European Studies (2012)

Key Publications

Büthe T, Milner HV: "Institutional Diversity in Trade Agreements and Their Effect on Foreign Direct Investment: Credibility, Commitments, and Economic Flows in the Developing World, 1971-2007". World Politics. 2014; 66(1): 88-122.


Büthe T, Major S, de Mello e Souza A: "The Politics of Private Foreign Aid: Humanitarian Principles, Economic Development Objectives, and Organizational Interests in the Allocation of Private Aid by NGOs". International Organization. 2012; 66(4): 571-607.


Büthe T, Mattli W: New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011 (japanische Übersetzung: 2013).


Büthe T, Milner HV: "The Politics of Foreign Direct Investment into Developing Countries: Increasing FDI through Trade Agreements?". American Journal of Political Science. 2008; 52(4): 741-762.


Büthe T: "Taking Temporality Seriously: Modeling History and the Use of Narratives as Evidence". American Political Science Review. 2002; 96(3): 481-493.