Thomas Mann Fellows | 2020

Aug, Sep, Oct

Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst | Professor for Political Theory and Philosophy

 © Forst
© Forst

Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst (born 1964) has been Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at Goethe University Frankfurt since 2004. He has been Co-Founder and Speaker of the Research Center “Normative Orders” since 2007 and of the DFG Center for Advanced Studies “Justitia Amplificata” since 2009. Furthermore, he has been the Director of the Leibniz Research Group “Transnational Justice” since 2012, Research Professor at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) since 2017 and Deputy Speaker of the Frankfurt branch of the “Research Institute for Social Cohesion” since 2020. His research focuses on questions of justice, democracy and tolerance as well as Critical Theory and practical reason in the tradition of Immanuel Kant. From 1985 to 1990 he studied philosophy, political science and American studies in Frankfurt, New York and at Harvard University. In 1993 he received his PhD under the supervision of Jürgen Habermas with a dissertation on theories of political and social justice. In 2003 Rainer Forst completed his habilitation with a monograph on the history and content of the concept of toleration. Subsequently he received a Heisenberg grant from the DFG. He has held Visiting Professorships and Fellowships at the New School for Social Research (New York), Dartmouth College (Hanover, New Hampshire), the University of Washington (Seattle), Rice University (Houston), New York University and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In 2012 he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the DFG. He is Full Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. From 2010 to 2018 he was an Associate Editor of Ethics (now on the board) and he has been a Member of the Executive Editorial Committee of "Political Theory" and engaged in various functions in numerous other international journals. Also, he is Co-Editor of the book series "Theorie und Gesellschaft" and "Normative Ordnungen" at Campus Verlag.


Publications (Selection)

2017 | Normativity and Power, Oxford University Press  
2014 | Justice, Democracy and the Right to Justification, London: Bloomsbury.
2014 | The Power of Tolerance,together with Wendy Brown, New York: Columbia University Press.
2013 | Justification and Critique. Towards a Critical Theory of Politics, Polity Press
2012 | The Right to Justification. Elements of a Constructivist Theory of Justice. Columbia University Press
2003 | Toleranz im Konflikt. Geschichte, Gehalt und Gegenwart eines umstrittenen Begriffs, Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp (English translation: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
1994 | Kontexte der Gerechtigkeit. Politische Philosophie jenseits von Liberalismus und Kommunitarismus, Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp (English translation: University of California Press 2002).


Awards (Selection)

2012 | Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Preis of the German Research Foundation (DFG)
2003 | Heisenberg-Stipendium of the DFG  Project Description


Project Description

The legitimacy of public powers: The connection of morality, law and politics   

During their stay at Thomas Mann House, Rainer Forst together with Christoph Möllers and Michael Zürn aim to describe the profound conflicts that characterize current societies and international institutions — keywords are populism, nationalism and authoritarianism — to take the opportunity to fundamentally think about the legitimacy of normative orders in the state or supranational space. In the project, “The legitimacy of public powers: The connection of morality, law and politics”, the three scholars want to combine their different fields of expertise to  to research which standards of justification are normatively appropriate and empirically practicable for which type of institutional order — and according to which standards this is measured.   


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