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Research Projects


Here you will find an overview of Prof. Dr. Dietrich's fields of work and currently running research projects as well as of his staff members and their projects.

Prof. Dr. Frank Dietrich

Fields of work

Political philosophy:

  • Territorial rights and secession
  • State authority and political obligation

Moral philosophy:

  • Distributive justice

Medical ethics:

  • Rationing and allocation of organs
  • Preimplantation diagnosis
  • Euthanasia


One focus of research in the field of the philosophy of international politics is on justifying territorial claims. The currently running project focusses the right of peoples to political self-determination as it is rooted in Art. 1 of the Conventions on Human Rights of 1966. Both these conventions on human rights as well as other authoritative legal documents connect the right to political self-determination to the right to dispose of those natural resources as existing on the territory of a people. The project pursues the question if convincing normative reasons suggest that the right to political self-determination implies privileged claims to the exploitation of natural resources.

Another project deals with the justification of the execution of state power in the context of education. State interventions in the parents´ rights of education may be based on two kinds of arguments. One the one hand one may refer to the legitimate interests of the children, such as their autonomy, which require interventions into education. On the other hand one may refer to the necessity of communicating fundamental values, such as tolerance, to the children, in order of maintaining a democratic community. The project focusses on the particular challenges for the legitimation of state interventions in pluralist societies where different concepts of the good are competing with each other.

Dr. Joachim Wündisch

Fields of work

Political philosophy:

  • Territorial rights and climate change
  • Left-Libertarianism and Right-Libertarianism

Moral philosophy:

  • Distributive, compensatory and restitutive justice
  • Moral responsibility

Medical ethics:

  • Disability
  • Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • Human enhancement


Within climate ethics I work on grounding the restitutive claims of groups whose territories are in whole or in part lost to the rising sea. My focus are the following questions: (1) Is a sufficientarian theory of political self-determination plausible, and if so, what should it look like? (2) What claims to restitution arise from the partial loss of territory and the associated potential reduction in political self-determination?

In the field of moral responsibility I work on the subject of excusable ignorance and on answers to the following questions: (1) Why does excusable ignorance exculpate? (2) Does the exculpatory power of excusable ignorance extend to liability for costs? (3) How do interdependent and collective decision-making processes affect individual excusable ignorance?

Within the philosophy of disability I work on answers to the following questions: (1) What is a disability? (2) Is the mere-difference view of disability justified? (3) What are the duties of society towards persons with disabilities?

Laura Wackers, M.A.

Fields of Work

Moral philosophy

  • Privacy
  • Information and identity
  • Happiness and well-being

Medical ethics

  • Physcial Privacy in medical care
  • Data protection und surveillance

History of philosophy

  • American transcendentalism


I am currently writing my doctoral dissertation regarding 'privacy and dementia'. One focus therein lies on the concept of privacy and how to define it, and another on the challenges that dementia poses for classical notions of privacy and what they understand to be information and identity. I also address problems of privacy protection in medical care and treatment of patients with dementia, such as surveillance via persons and technology.

In the last two years I have worked in a SFF-project dedicated to study the historical and philosophical importance of american transcendentalism in the 19th century.


Sölch, Dennis; Wackers, Laura (forthcoming in 2017), Der amerikanische Transzendentalismus. Eine Anthologie, Bern, Peter Lang Verlag

Adis Selimi, M.A.

Fields of work:

Legal Philosophy:

  • Philosophy of International Law
  • Law and Morality

Political Philosophy:

  • Legitimacy of Political Institutions
  • Ideal and Non-Ideal Theory
  • Territorial Rights

Moral Philosophy:

  • Ethics of Migration


As part of my dissertation project, I am concerned with the moral foundations of state recognition. While the capacity of a group of individuals to form a state was initially based on descriptive criteria formulated in the Montevideo Convention (1933), like the effective control over a territory, modern international law has increasingly added normative criteria that influence the practice of state recognition. These include, in particular, the protection of human rights and the democratic legitimacy of the government. As a result, several de facto regimes (e.g. Northern Cyprus and Transnistria) were refused admission to the international community. This goes hand in hand with the non-recognition of the rights and obligations inseparably linked to the principle of statehood. The aim of the research project is to examine the legitimacy of the practice of withheld recognition and to work out normative criteria that political entities should fulfill in order to be accepted into the international community.

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