Franziska Martinsen (Hannover/Bonn): Call for Human Rights. Claims to Economic Autonomy in Global Human Rights Semantics


The lecture will first explore the main thesis that human rights cannot be grasped properly as individual and collective conditions of a self-determined life, as long as they are understood as moral rights rather than political rights. The disputes and decisions about the conditions of human life – of political and economic autonomy – are to be viewed as matters of political practice that should not be interpreted in a moral language, especially because their actual challenge, namely the participatory inclusion of all those affected by political decisions, is neglected. Secondly, Franziska Martinsen will glance at the global human rights semantics, which is understood as a field of public political debate on possible interpretations of human rights. Individual and collective claims to a human right to economic autonomy, as formulated, for example, by human rights NGOs, will be examined and it will be questioned to what extent these can be understood as (self-)communication processes about empowerment strategies in the struggle for specific rights to individual and collective autonomy.

PD. Dr. Franziska Martinsen

Curriculum Vitae

PD Dr. Franziska Martinsen studied Philosphy, Political Science, and Music at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Free University of Berlin. After working as a research associate at the University of Basel, she received her doctoral degree in Philosophy with a piece on Sharing Across Borders? Justice and Cosmopolitanism. She was also a research assistant at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) for a project focused on analyzing European policy issues from a legal-theoretical perspective. Since 2005, she has held various teaching positions, including at the University of Basel’s Center for Gender Studies, the University of Zurich, and the University of Göttingen. From 2007 to 2017, Franziska Martinsen was a research associate at the University of Hannover’s Department of Political Theory and the History of Ideas. During her time there, she also acquired the venia legendi in political science (2016). Since receiving her habilitation, Franziska Martinsen has been a visiting professor at the University of Vienna as well as an interim professor at the University of Greifswald, the University of Kiel, and the University of Bremen’s Research Center for Inequality and Social Politics (SOCIUM).

Franziska Martinsen is a board member of the German Political Science Association (Deutsche Vereinigung für Politikwissenschaft). She is also the spokeswoman for the Association’s branches for Political Theory and the History of Ideas as well as Politics and Gender.

Her research interests include political philosophy and theory, the political history of ideas, legal and social philosophy, democratic theory, and theories of (global) justice.  

Since September 2019, PD Dr. Franziska Martinsen has been Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture.”