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Current projects

Climate Policy Governance & Participatory Governance

The pilot phase is funded by the University of Potsdam

The Chair of Political Theory, together with the Chair of Political Science, Administration and Organisation, is part of the pilot study "Climate Policy Governance from a City-Comparative Perspective: Identifying legitimate and successful climate policy processes for metropolitan areas". In this joint project, the Chair of Political Theory is investigating the influence of participatory governance on climate strategies and policies in metropolitan regions. The research focuses

  1. on the identification of different citizen participation formats as well as
  2. the normative and empirical function of such participation formats

The Chair of Political Science, Administration and Organisation focuses on the administrative governance part and on how metropolitan cities develop and implement their climate strategies. The project looks at different metropolitan cities across the globe, including Buenos Aires, Berlin, Amsterdam, Budapest and Paris.

This first pilot study is part of the Einstein Center Climate Change and Public Policy of Human Settlements (ECCCPPHS)*, which is currently being established.  Together with Prof. Dr. Sabine Kuhlmann, Prof. Dr. Fabian Schuppert is a member of the executive board of the ECCCPPHS on behalf of the University of Potsdam.

Research associates of the projects are

Janina Walkenhorst (Chair of Political Theory)

Franziska Oehlert (Chair of Political Science, Administration and Organisation)

Tomás Vellani (Chair of Political Science, Administration and Organisation)

* affiliated to the Climate Change Center Berlin-Brandenburg


Find the article on the project published in the University Journal Universitätsmagazin "Portal Wissen - Eins 2023 „Lernen“" here


The Relation between Recognition Theory and Theories of Epistemic Injustice

Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

"The Relation between Recognition Theory and Theories of Epistemic Injustice" is a DFG-funded research network with a total of 16 international philosophers who commence their investigation in Oct 2021.

The developing interest in the relation between theories of epistemic injustice and recognition theory so far shows that analysis and critique of epistemic injustices can be significantly improved and fruitfully enriched by the insights from recognition theory; for example, by bringing to light the structural nature of epistemic injustice and by envisioning potential ways to (epistemically) respect other social groups and communities.

The network seeks to answer three main questions:
(1) What is the specific relation between epistemic injustices and recognition failures?
(2) What is the relation to other intersecting theories; such as ideology critique, vulnerability, ignorance, communal knowledge practices, double consciousness, consciousness-raising, echo chambers, social movements, standpoint theory, etc.?
(3) What are possible ways of applying the theory in the real world?

The network will organize workshops, conferences, and public events between Oct. 2021 and March 2024.

Principle Investigator: Dr. Hilkje C. Hänel
Co-Investigator: Prof. Fabian Schuppert

More info, including a list of all members of the research network, here:


Land Rights in a Changing Climate (with Megan Blomfield)

Funded by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust

Existing patterns of land use are threatened both by climate change impacts, and by climate change policies. Climate impacts including sea-level rise and desertification are predicted to submerge some regions and render others uninhabitable. At the same time, it is increasingly being suggested that a successful response to climate change must incorporate massive-scale deployment of techniques such as afforestation and bioenergy crop production; policies that threaten to encroach on land that is already being used for other purposes, with knock-on effects for food security and livelihoods. The question of how land rights can be recognised and respected in a world responding to climate change is therefore of pressing importance. This project uses philosophical and political theory to address this question: interrogating the moral dimensions of land-rights (including their basis, nature and rightful possessors), and asking how conflicts and trade-offs between protecting existing land-use and deploying effective climate policies should be assessed.


The Need for a Normative Theory of Systemic Risk: Practical Applications and a New Social Contract? (with Andrew Baker, Gerald Epstein, Daniela Gabor and Jay Cullen)

Funded by the Economic & Social Research Council and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research

Assessing and managing systemic financial risk has become one of the new frontier challenges for macroeconomic research and policy since the financial crisis of 2008. This project asks how normative principles derived from civic republican political theory, could be embodied in the design and execution of regulatory instruments for governing and managing systemic financial risk, as part of a new macroeconomic social contract between market players, public authorities and the population at large.

This project is part of the Finance Hub of the Rebuilding Macroeconomics research network.