Wolf Linder studied english, political science and, in particular, law from 1963 to 1968. He worked as a lawyer in law firms, courts and administrative authorities from 1968 to 1970. From 1969 to 1975, he studied political science and wrote his dissertation at the University of Konstanz.
From 1973 to 1982, he was a collaborator and project leader at the Institute für Ort-Regional und Landesplanung of the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). He was a member of the parliament of the Canton of Thurgau, a member of the expert commission of the revision of the Constitution of the Canton of Thurgau as well as a supplementary judge at the Supreme Court of the Canton of Thurgau (1974-1982). From 1982 to 1987, he was a professor at the Institut Hautes des Etudes en Administration Publique (I.D.H.E.A.P) in Lausanne. From 1982 to 1986 he was the project lecturer of the program Swiss Fund of National Research. “Entscheidungsvorgänge in der Schweizerischen Demokratie” (Decision-making Processes in Swiss Democracy). From 1984 to 1990 he was the Editor of the Schweizerische Jahrbuch für politische Wissenschaft (Swiss Yearbook on Political Science) and a number of committees of the Swiss Association of Political Science. From 1985 to 1987 he was visiting a Professor at the University of Geneva. From 1987 to 2009 he was full Professor at University of Berne and a Director of the Institute for Political Science. In 1991 he was a Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA and a fellow at the Instituto Europeo in Florence in 1997. He was a member of the board of the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences, a founding member of the Center of Competence for Public Management at the University of Berne, a member of the board of the Swiss National Fund of Research and a member of Board of the Forum Federation. Linder’s main areas of research and teaching are the Swiss political system, domestic policy, political decision-making processes, federalism, communal politics, elections and research. Linder was an expert for the Swiss Academy of Sciences (1975), for the planning of the University of Lucerne (1976-77), for the city of Berne (1982/83) and the development of options in the area of Energy (87/88).