Projects

Heroic Citizenship (Benjamin Boudou)

This project examines the ethical, political and legal issues of “heroism” as a condition for citizenship acquisition. I examine situations where fast-track citizenship, long-term residence permits or immediate naturalization have been offered as a reward for exceptional acts of selfless and risky altruism. I aim to answer four questions: a political one (what are the ideological and political conditions for heroic citizenship to be possible?), a legal one (how is law mobilized to allow such exceptional measures?), a conceptual one (how does heroic citizenship affect the conceptualization of citizenship through notions of deservingness, performance, civic virtues of altruism and sacrifice?), and a normative one (is heroic citizenship desirable?).

Citizenship and Transnational Democracy (Eva-Maria Schäfferle)

In my current research I seek to explore new avenues for strengthening the political voice of migrants. Migrants or non-citizens are subject to foreign states’ laws in multiple ways. They are bound by their immigration, integration and naturalization rules, which significantly restrict their personal freedom and choice of life plans. In contrast to citizens, though, they are deprived of political voice and influence. Seeking to overcome the political voicelessness of migrants, I’m particularly interested in new forms of democratic decision-making beyond the nation state. Can emerging forms of transnational democracy bridge the gap between national realities on the one hand and cosmopolitan ideals on the other? Can they help to remedy the problem of under-inclusiveness that modern nation states currently face? If so, how must transnational democracy be designed to ensure that the needs and interests of migrants are adequately represented in the decision-making process?