Julie M. Bunck, PhD



      Honors and Awards

      Trustees Award for working with students, 2016

      Visiting Faculty Fellow, Bond University, Brisbane, Australia, November-December 2007

      Fulbright Scholar, research/teaching, University of Colima, Mexico, August 2005-January 2006

      Earhart Foundation Grant, 2005-2006

      University Distinguished Honors Professor, 2002-2008

      Favorite Faculty Award, REACH, University of Louisville, 2008

      Outstanding Faculty Mentor, Athletics Department, University of Louisville, 2008

      Fulbright Scholar, teaching, University of Ryukyus, Japan, August 1999 to February 2000

      University or Louisville Multicultural Teaching Award, Spring 1999

      Agency for International Development IPA appointment, January 1996 to August 1996. Served as academic adviser to the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau in the Office of Democratic Initiatives and the Cuba Project.

      Princeton University-American Council of Learned Societies Grant, academic program with scholars from Vietnam, October 1997.

      Univ. of Louisville, International Center, Research Grant, 1997.

      University of Louisville Research Grant, 1997.

      Fulbright Scholar, teaching, Tokyo, Japan, 1996 (declined).

      Ford Foundation/Program for the International Studies in Asia, Hanoi, 1995.

      Social Science Research Council-American Council for Learned Societies Advanced Research Grant on Southeast Asia, 1995.

      Fulbright Scholar, research, Central American Republics Research Program, 1991-92.

      Colgate Research Council Grant, 1988.

      Hudson Institute Fellow (declined) 1986-87.

      Bradley Foundation Fellowship, 1986-87.

      Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, University of Virginia, 1986-87.

      Thomas Jefferson Fellow, University of Virginia, 1986-87, 1985-86, 1984-85.

      du Pont Fellow, University of Virginia, 1985-86, 1983-84.

      Teaching Areas

      Honors Seminar
      Honors Political Science
      Judicial Process
      International Organization
      International Law
      World Order
      United States and Latin America
      Latin American Comparative Politics
      Comparative Revolutionary Societies
      Political Discourse
      Graduate Seminar on Comparative Politics


      Julie Bunck is Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. A three-time Fulbright Scholar (Mexico, Japan, and Central America) and twice a visiting professor for Semester at Sea on voyages visiting a total of 24 countries, Professor Bunck has also lectured in Australia, Ecuador, and Vietnam and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, Tufts University, and Colgate University.

      Julie Bunck has published four books as well as articles in such scholarly journals as Review of International Studies, the Hague Journal of Diplomacy, and Cuban Studies. Her written work has been assigned at various universities, including Stanford and Princeton, and for a number of years her signature study, Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba, led the list of the twenty best books on the Cuban revolution compiled by Questia, the world’s largest on-line library.

      At the University of Louisville Julie Bunck has served as the University Distinguished Honors Professor and has been awarded the Presidential Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award. Louisville students have nominated Professor Bunck as a Faculty Favorite on six occasions, and Louisville athletes as a Faculty Mentor on three. In 2008 she was named the Outstanding Faculty Mentor by the U of L Athletics Department.

      Bunck has been awarded grants by the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Earhart Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She spent a year in Washington, D.C., serving as academic adviser to the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Over the course of her academic career she has been a Bradley Foundation Fellow, a du Pont, Woodrow Wilson, and Thomas Jefferson Fellow at the University of Virginia, and she has served on the Board of Advisors of the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky.

      Professor Bunck is an avid runner and rider. When not at the University, she can usually be found tending to her southern Indiana horse farm, located within the Hoosier National Forest. She has four teen-aged children, including a University of Louisville freshman, and her husband is Professor Michael Fowler of the Department of Political Science.

      As detailed further below, her areas of expertise include Latin American Politics (including Cuban Studies and Drug Trafficking), and International Relations (including International Law and Organization).

      Latin American Politics (Cuban Studies and Drug Trafficking)

       One of Julie Bunck’s areas of expertise is the trafficking of different narcotics through the bridge states of Central America. Drawing on more than a decade of research in the region, she and co-author Michael Fowler published Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation: Drug Trafficking and the Law in Central America (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012). An AHC television documentary on a Honduran kingpin (Manhunt: Kill or Capture: The Devil Incarnate), that aired across the United States and Canada in October 2015, drew heavily on the research in this book.

       William O. Walker III of the University of Toronto wrote, “There is nothing like Bribes, Bullets, and Intimidation in the drug-control literature. It covers a region, Central America, that other studies deal with peripherally, if at all.... The authors make their subject a compelling story, one that is essential to an understanding of recent and contemporary Central America.”

       Peter Andreas of Brown University noted: “This book fills a glaring gap in the voluminous drug literature. It will instantly become the reference book for understanding the role of Central America in the international drug trade and the profound impact of the trade on the countries of the region. Anyone interested in drug trafficking in Central America will find this book to be essential reading. And anyone who fails to cite this book when writing about drug trafficking in Central America will provoke raised eyebrows.”

       In American Diplomacy Joe B. Johnson of the U.S. Department of State and the Foreign Service Institute wrote: “This is a comprehensive, detailed history of the narcotics trade and government interdiction efforts in Central America from 1980 to 2010. If you work in an embassy Narcotics Affairs Section in Latin America or study illegal narcotics trafficking, you will want this book.... This dispassionate, factual work makes a powerful statement.”

       Professor John S. Robey of the University of Texas (Brownsville) observed: “This groundbreaking effort is the first comprehensive analysis of drug trafficking in Central America. The volume covers five countries -- Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama -- over some 40 years (1980-present). Bunck and Fowler ... are thus able to make comparisons over time of the variations that exist in each country ... [and] the authors make several reasoned policy recommendations.... The book is well written and researched. It should reach a wide audience.

      Cuba stands as another area of research for Professor Bunck. Her first book examined the efforts of the Fidel Castro regime to bring about cultural change on the island by engineering a revolutionary consciousness, a conciencia more appropriate for a Marxist-Leninist society. She has published articles in Cuban Studies and Cuban Communism, has delivered numerous papers on Cuba at scholarly conferences, and has written on topics ranging from Cuban sports diplomacy to the post-Cold War transition on the island.

      Professor Jorge Dominguez of Harvard Universitywrote of Fidel Castro and the Quest for a Revolutionary Culture in Cuba: “Bunck’s work is the best attempt to understand not just Fidel Castro's hopes for the transformation of Cuba's culture but also the extent to which those hopes ever became reality.”

      Professor Edward Gonzalez of the University of California, Los Angeles observed that Bunck’s work “is a most welcome addition, indeed, a long overdue correction, to the literature in this area of Cuban studies.... Bunck’s study is an impressive feat of scholarship.... Its documentation alone will be of enormous help to those searching the record of the Castro’s regime’s socio-cultural policies.” 

      Professor Anthony Payne of the University of Sheffield in Britain wrote in the journal, International Affairs: “Julie Bunck and her publishers unquestionably have a good sense of timing.  A considered assessment of the Castro regime's program to transform Cuban culture along Marxist-Leninist lines would have been a valuable contribution to the historiography of the Cuban revolution if published at any time over the last ten years.  The appearance of such an analysis at a moment when thousands of Cubans are risking their lives to flee on flimsy rafts across the Florida Straits to Miami, and when the big unknown question about the future of the whole revolutionary experiment in Cuba is the state of the heart and minds of the Cuban people, transforms a worthy piece of research into something close to a riveting read.”

      International Relations: International Law and Organization

       For many years Julie Bunck has taught and researched international relations, including the sub-field of international law and organization. Here, her best-known work is Law, Power, and the Sovereign State: The Evolution and Application of the Concept of Sovereignty, published with co-author Michael Fowler. 

       Richard Falk of Princeton University called this work an “invaluable study of sovereignty [that] explores anew one of the most enduring ideas in political theory and illuminates with lucidity the changing nature of the sovereign state.”

      Daniel Philpott of Notre Dame University wrote in World Politics: “Fowler and Bunck question the notion of international relations as a ‘Westphalian order’ that originated in the seventeenth century and then continued to the present, beginning only now to cleave. Instead, their common thesis runs, state sovereignty has been revisable and revised, violable and violated – constantly and continuously, for diverse causes and purposes.... [Law, Power, and the Sovereign State poses] a vigorous challenge, rich in implications about sovereignty – its history, its role in international politics, its place in international relations scholarship, and its changing status today.”

       In International Journal Vince DeRose of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada wrote: “Michael Ross Fowler and Julie Marie Bunck's defence of sovereignty ... is a welcome addition to the literature on international relations theory.... This book is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it is not intended only for the intelligentsia of international relations. The accessibility of the ideas makes it ideal for students of international relations. Yet, those familiar with the literature on sovereignty will still appreciate a number of subtle insights into the relationship between the theoretical and practical aspects of sovereignty. Second, the authors do not attempt to limit and constrain the meanings of sovereignty by providing a reductionist definition. Instead, they offer a coherent account of the meanings ascribed to sovereignty by both political theorists and international policy-makers. By not providing definitive answers, they illustrate the ever-changing character of the sovereign nation-state. The book’s major contribution is not the answers it provides but rather the questions it raises. Fowler and Bunck's framework, which highlights the multiple interpretations and usages of the concept of sovereignty in theory and practice, provides a foundation from which to question further the meanings of sovereign statehood. Given the enduring use of the concept of sovereignty within international relations, the book is a substantial addition to this field of study.