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Metaphern der Mitgliedschaft in philosophischen Argumenten über Flucht und Migration

January 2019 – ongoing
Laurin Mackowitz
Finanzierung: Forschungsstipendium an österreichische Graduierte - Überbrückungsfinanzierung für Post-Docs an der Universität Innsbruck (2018-2019)

Dissertation: “Antitypes. On the Authority and Demarcation of (In)human Life”

Leire Urricelqui Ramos
Teil der SNF-Förderungsprofessur Philosophie „Fremd- und Vieltuerei“. Zur Verwirklichung demokratischer Freiheit in Formen des Nicht- Identischen

Anschubfinanzierung der Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences Univeristät Luzern (2016-2017).
Doc.mobility Stipendium Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschatlichen Forschung (SNSF) (12.2018- 05.2020).

The Politics of Otherness and Distinctness. Rethinking Democratic Agency

Pascal Omlin
My project is concerned with the crisis of democracy as a crisis of the category of the political sphere at large. I argue that the current crisis of democracy is to be understood with Arendt’s notion of the crisis of the political, understood as a loss of the public sphere as the site of political action due to its marketisation. Arendt’s thought allows for an analysis of the antipolitical moments that brought about and perpetuate the decline of a vibrant public sphere. However, such a vibrant public constitutes the necessary bulwark against authoritarian threats. My aim is twofold; first, drawing on an analysis of antipolitical moments inherent in political positions from right to left, I construct a conceptual matrix to assess political positions along two axes. To a horizontal dimension of inclusion and exclusion, I add a vertical axis based on two categories laid out in Arendt’s The Human Condition: distinctness and otherness. These account for the difference between an understanding of political subjects’ identities as politically enacted and dynamic (distinctness) or as a natural fact and hence fixed (otherness). This matrix is a tool for assessing different conceptions and positions based on their political and antipolitical features. Second, I argue that notions of politics based on implicitly or explicitly antipolitical premises (otherness or exclusion) are unfit to yield democratic agency. Thus, I make a normative case for a politics avoiding those pitfalls; a politics of inclusion and of distinctness. It entails inclusion as liberation from otherness on the one hand and enables people to freely engage in political action as distinct persons rather than bearers of collective identity on the other. Liberation and freedom are to be regarded as cornerstones of democratic politics. In order to defend this notion of politics on normative grounds, however, it is necessary to read Arendt against Arendt. My reading turns against her ontological commitment to strictly separating the public and the private and to essentialising otherness, which prevent her from acknowledging liberation as a political matter. Since otherness breeds exclusion and vice versa, only a politics rejecting exclusion as well as otherness is safe from sliding back into authoritarianism. The antipolitical aspects of exclusion and otherness come to the fore on the level of individuals as well as in society at large. To properly address the crisis, it must be recognised as one of democratic agency; to counter it demands repoliticising the unduly privatised and enabling passive customers to become active citizens.

Dissertation: An urgency to limit states' scope of action with regard to immigration decisions.

Anja Ringhofer
Aim of this thesis is to analyze and limit the states' scope of action with regard to immigration decisions. At the moment, states ascribe absolute authority to themselves when it comes to excluding potential immigrants. That it is morally impermissible for states to select or reject people based on skin color is generally agreed upon amongst political theorists. But what about nationality? Isn't nationality and place of birth an equally arbitrary critereon based on which admission ought not happen? Why do we allow German or Swiss citizens to reside in Austria while we do not offer the same opportunities to Afghan or Gambian citizens?

In the debate regarding the state's right to exclude versus open borders I am particularly interested to explore state decisions under the phenomenon of discrimination. This does not only concern entrance requirements, but also state decisions that affect immigrants that are already in the country such as isolation in camps or racial profiling. I hope to show that most of the states' actions are in violation with an harm based account of discrimination, thus, immigration ought to be liberalized.

Normative, soziologische und rechtswissenschaftliche Grundlagen für Cyber Security in steirischen Unternehmen (CyberSecInStyria)

July 2018 - ongoing
Project-partner: Evolaris next level GmbH, WKO - Cyber-Security-Hotline
Leader and Post-Doc: Harald Stelzer
Doctorial Researcher: Hristina Veljanova
funded by Land Steiermark

Vertrauen in Digitalisierung am Beispiel von Systemen zum (teil)autonomen Fahren und Fahrassistenzsystemen (VERDI)

April 2019 - ongoing
Project-partner: Kompetenzzentrum - Das Virtuelle Fahrzeug Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Leader and Post-Doc: Harald Stelzer
Doctorial Researcher: Hristina Veljanova
funded by Land Steiermark and Zukunftfonds


TRUst-Enhancing certified Solutions for SEcurity and protection of Citizens’ rights in digital Europe (TRUESSEC.eu) 

January 2017 - December 2018
Members of the project team: Harald Stelzer, Hristina Veljanova (Prae-Doc)
Coordination: Digital Catapult (UK)
funded by Horizon 2020

Contextualizing Climate Engineering and Mitigation: Illusion, Complement or Substitute (CEMICS)

Project of the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam (IASS) in cooperation with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the University of Hamburg
May 2013 - April 2016
Member of the project team: Harald Stelzer

European Trans-discipinary Assessment of Climate Engineering

June 2012 - September 2014
Head of the project: Lukas Meyer
Post-Doc: Harald Stelzer
Coordination: Mark Lawrence (Potsdam)
EU Seventh Framework Programme

Critical Ethics

April 2008 - July 2011
Leader and Post-Doc: Harald Stelzer
Doctorial Researcher: Philippe Streit
funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)


Head of the Section
Heinrichstraße 26/II 8010 Graz
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christine Abbt Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 2316


Office hours by appointment- please write me an e-mail.


Attemsgasse 25/II 8010 Graz
Mag. Kanita Kovačević Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 2299
Mobile:+43 (0)316 380 - 9705

Mo-Fr, 9.00-12.00

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