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Ben Seel




Since 2021      Ph.D. Student at the Graduiertenkolleg „Normativity, Critique, Change“

2013-2020      M.A. Political Theory, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

2014               Semester abroad, New School for Social Research, New York

2009-2013      B.A. History and Political Science, Heidelberg University^

Occupations and Voluntary Positions

2019-2020      Representative for Germany, Advisory Group on Learning and Teaching, European Higher Education Area

Since 2015     Member of the Advisory Council, Bund demokratischer Wissenschaftler*innen (BdWi)

2017-2020      Member of the Academic Senate, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

2016-2019      Member of the Board of the European Students Union (ESU)

2015-2016      Member of the Executive Committee, freier zusammenschlusses von student*innenschaften (fzs)

2011-2012      Member of the Academic Senate, Heidelberg University

Towards a Transformation of modern Law

The research of Ben Seel focuses on the possibility and the form of a new, post-modern law. Starting from the contemporary debate on modern law, the project aims at exploring the possibility of a form of law, which can retain the emancipatory potentials of modern law while at the same time avoiding its harmful effects on subjectivity. A critical genealogy of modern law provides not only the basis for its critique, but also for identifying the emancipatory potentials which need to be preserved in a transformed law. To develop a corresponding normative concept of law it is among other things necessary to analyze the form of adjudicative thinking, which structures the hitherto existing law and its theory. This critical approach is supported by interpretations of literary and cinematic subversions of the conventional forms of judicial decision-making. The tensions coming to light in these artistic interventions are to be made fruitful for a theory of a „deedless“ enforcement of law, which could dynamize legal relationships and thereby sublate the de-politicising and excluding effects of modern law.

The project is aimed at investigating the potentials for fundamental change in the normative framework of modern societies. The critique which it directs against the dominant law system is founded on the resources of (self-)critique inherent to the structure of subjective rights. Anchored in practical philosophy the project is closely tied to legal theory and – considering the aforementioned aesthetical ruptures – indebted to literary and film studies.

Further Research Interests:

  • Critical Theory of the Political
  • History and Critique of the State
  • Hegel’s Social Philosophy and Philosophy of Right
  • Games of Aesthetic Form in Benjamin, Kafka and Kluge
  • History of Ideas of the 17th and 18th Century
Freie Universität Berlin
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Universität der Künste Berlin