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The Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy

Transnational Justice and Democracy: Overcoming Three Dogmas of Political Theory


Wednesday, April 30, 2014
5:30 p.m.
Higgins Hall, Room 300

with Rainer Forst
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University

about the speaker



Rainer Forst is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University and director of the Normative Orders Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany. Typically identified with the Frankfurt School of critical theory, he was awarded the 2012 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize—the highest honor awarded for research in Germany—for his contributions to political theory and philosophy.

Professor Forst’s interdisciplinary work has focused on morality, justice, tolerance, and democracy and has included pragmatist and normative perspectives. Notably, his works have described the moral basis of human rights and have advocated a transnational conception of justice.

His career extends to both the United States and Europe. After studying under John Rawls at Harvard University, he received his doctorate under the supervision of Jürgen Habermas in 1993. Since then, he has held teaching positions at the Free University Berlin, Dartmouth College, and the New School for Social Research, as well as fellowships with NYU, the German Research Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Studies of Goethe-University at Bad Homburg near Frankfurt, which he helped co-found. Professor Forst’s publications include Contexts of Justice (2002), Toleration in Conflict (2003), The Right to Justification (2012), and Justification and Critique (2013).