PhD Student - Janosch Prinz

Janosch PrinzDetails


Working Thesis Title: “Realist Political Theory as a Critical Activity”

Start Year: 2011


Matt Sleat and Garrett Brown

Research Topic

Political theory is an interesingly hybrid construction. On the one hand it often, certainly in what are taken to be its dominant, liberal- normative instantiations, wants to work with the universal evaluative standards and methods of inquiry of philosophy. On the other hand, it hopes to have an exploratory or explanatory impact, or even predictive power with regard to contemporary political life. These two characteristics of political theory stand in a complex and complicated relationship which most of contemporary political theory fails to capture.

The current debate about “realism in political theory” has brought this issue back on the agenda and has seemingly instilled a new wave of disciplinary self-reflection, but upon closer study the profoundness of the challenge that this debate poses to the dominant “liberal paradigm” of political theory becomes questionable. Are the dichotomies between “abstract, universal, critical, normative” vs. “concrete, contextual, affirmative, descriptive” political theorizing really helpful? Is finding the “right” relationship between political theory and practice really a question of fine-tuning considerations of feasibility and application?

This project critically examines the current debates about realism in political theory in order to prepare the exploration of possibilities for sketching a qualitatively different approach to political theorizing which at the same time radiacalizes some of the criticisms of current realists and goes beyond them.

Research Questions

  • What is at stake in the current debates about realism in political theory?
  • Does the current debate on realism in political theory pose a profound challenge to the dominant post-Rawlsian approach to political theory?
  • If not, how would political theory have to be reconceived to pose such a challenge?
  • How should the relationship between political theory and both its political and its disciplinary environment, including its history, best be understood?

Research Interests

  • Political Theory/Political Philosophy
  • Conceptual History and History of Sytems of Thought
  • Political Geography
  • Critical Theory

Research Group Membership

• Global Justice and Political Theory

Teaching Experience

Awards and Grants

University of Sheffield Harry Worthington Scholarship for Doctoral Study, 2011

Professional Affiliations

Deutsche Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft


Articles in peer reviewed journals:

  • Meyer, Robert, Prinz, Janosch & Schetter, Conrad (2010): Ein Spiel im Container? Zum Zusammenhang von Raum und Fußball. In: Peripherie – Zeitschrift für Politik und Ökonomie in der Dritten Welt, vol. 30, no. 117, pp. 82-100.
  • Schetter, Conrad, Meyer, Robert & Prinz, Janosch (2010): ‚Totaal Voetbaal‘, ‚Ramba-Zamba‘ und ‚Tiqui-Taca’ – die Konstruktion von Räumen im Fußballspiel. In: Geographische Revue, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 28-38.
  • Meyer, Robert, Schetter, Conrad & Prinz, Janosch (2012): Spatial contestation? – The theological foundations of Carl Schmitt’s spatial thought. In: Geoforum 43 (4): 687-696.
  • Schetter, Conrad & Prinz, Janosch (2012): Intervention light. Die Konstruktion von Gewalträumen im Zeitalter bedingter Souveränität. In: Geographische Rundschau 2/2012: 26-33.
  • Prinz, Janosch (2012): Wider die ‚Zwangsjacke‘ der gegenwärtigen liberalen politischen Philosophie. Raymond Geuss' politisch-philosophischer Ansatz. In: Zeitschrift für Politische Theorie 3 (1): 81-94.
  • Schetter, Conrad & Prinz, Janosch (2012): Counterinsurgency, Anthropology, Retreat – the US Military's COIN ‘Strategy’ in Afghanistan. In: Orient 2/2012: 24-34.

Book chapters:

  • Schetter, Conrad & Prinz, Janosch (2011): The Stability of Instability – State, Security and Violent Conflicts in South Asia. In: Schuck, Christoph (ed.): Multidimensional Security in the International System (Baden-Baden: Nomos), pp. 327-354.
  • Schetter, Conrad & Prinz, Janosch (2011): Vom ‚Krieg gegen den Terrorismus‘ zur ‚Aufstandsbekämpfung‘. Zum Paradigmatischen der Interventionspolitik in Afghanistan. In: Jäger, Thomas and Beckmann, Rasmus (eds.): Handbuch Kriegstheorien (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag), pp. 522-534.• Schetter, Conrad & Prinz, Janosch (2011): Kriegs- oder Friedensperspektiven? Die Intervention in Afghanistan. In: Fröhlich, Christiane, Debiel, Tobias, Hauswedell, Corinna, Johannsen, Margret and Bruno Schoch (eds.): Friedensgutachten 2011 (Berlin: LIT Verlag), pp. 208-222.

Book reviews and interviews:

  • Prinz, Janosch & Schetter, Conrad (2012): Die Entdeckung des Nomos. Carl Schmitt und die Geographie. In Geographica Helvetica 67: 171-173. Book Review of Legg, Stephen (ed.): Spatiality, Sovereignty and Carl Schmitt. Geographies of the Nomos, London, Routledge & Chapman and Hall, 306 pp., 2011.
  • Prinz, Janosch (2012): Zwischen kritischer Reflexion und Handlungsorientierung. Gespräch mit Raymond Geuss zu seinem Ansatz in der politischen Philosophie am 01. Juni 2010 in der Faculty of Philosophy der Universität Cambridge. In: Zeitschrift für Politische Theorie 3 (1): 95-108.

Conference Papers

  • Caerleon 2013
  • MANCEPT 2012
  • MANCEPT 2013

Previous Education

  • Magister Artium, Political Science with Comparative Literature and Media Studies, University of Bonn, November 2010
  • Graduate Exchange Study in Political Theory, University of Birmingham, 2007-8


German, French, Spanish, Latin