Alois Riklin was born on 9 October 1935 in St. Gallen. He is the son of Joseph Riklin, Director of the Swiss Cooperative Bank, and Maria Riklin (née Amann).
After completing the Abbey School in Einsiedeln, Riklin began studying law at the University of Fribourg in 1955. For one year he was president of the Swiss Students' Association (1959-1960). After graduating in 1959, he studied Sovietology at the Free University of Berlin. Between 1961 and 1963, Riklin was a research assistant at the Federal Institute for East European and International Studies in Cologne.
This was followed by studies in international law and political science in Paris (Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales), in The Hague (Académie de Droit International) and in Michigan. In 1964 Riklin published his dissertation entitled Das Berlinproblem. Historisch-politische und völkerrechtliche Darstellung des Viermächtestatus (The Berlin problem. A histori-cal and political presentation of the four-power status in the context of international law).
In 1967 Riklin obtained a lectureship at the University of Fribourg and in 1968 also at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). In 1969 he published his habilitation thesis under the title The European Communities in the System of State Relations. From February 1970, Riklin taught international law, international organisations and international relations as Privatdozent (lecturer) in Fribourg.
In the same year in October, he was appointed a Professor of Political Science at HSG with special emphasis on international relations. Just one year later he founded the Research Cen-tre for Political Science (now the Institute for Political Science). The focal points of his academic work include the history of political ideas, international relations and Swiss domestic and foreign policy.
In 1976 Riklin was appointed Vice-President and between 1982 and 1986, he served as President of the university. There were two things that Alois Riklin wanted to realise during his term of office in particular: the introduction of the subject of Business Ethics to strengthen the aspect of ethics in the economic and social sciences, and the long-planned expansion of the HSG campus. Riklin is a co-founder of the University Orchestra.
He served on numerous committees, foundations, boards and councils, e.g. in the project group for the total revision of the Federal Constitution. He was also a member of the Scientific Council of the European Institute in Budapest and of the Foundation Council of the Swiss Foundation for Social Ethics.
Riklin has published many monographs, including Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes und die Französische Revolution (Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes and the French Revolution) and Machtteilung – Geschichte der Mischverfassung (Power sharing – the history of the mixed constitution). He was also a co-founder of the book series on the history of ideas entitled Kleine Politische Schriften (Small political papers).
Alois Riklin was married to the poet and writer Ursula Riklin-Lorenz (1936-2013). Together they have six children, including the artists Frank and Patrik Riklin.
Riklin retired in 2001.
1983: Research Centre for Labour and Labour Law (FAA-HSG), today Research Institute for Work and Working Worlds from Different Disciplines (FAA-HSG).
1983: Research Centre for Business Ethics (FWE-HSG), today Institute for Business Ethics (IWE-HSG).