Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst

Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy


Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst

Director of the Research Centre
Normative Orders

Co-Director of the Cluster Initiative
"ConTrust – Trust in Conflict. Political Life under Conditions of Uncertainty"

Co-Director of the Center for Advanced Studies 
Justitia Amplificata

Director of the Leibniz Prize Research Group 
Transnational Justice

Deputy speaker of a coordinated sub-Institute in Frankfurt of the
Research Institute for Social Cohesion

Permanent Fellow at Institute for Advanced Studies 
(Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften)

Director of the Justitia Center for Advanced Studies

Course Executive Master in Political Theory

Contact Professor Forst


Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Max-Horkheimer-Straße 2
60629 Frankfurt am Main

phone.: +49 (0) 69 / 798 - 31540
fax: +49 (0) 69 / 798 - 31542


 > map of Campus Westend



 Office hours: To arrange an appointment, please send an email to   forst[at]   

Administrative Assistant

Foto homepage ss

Sonja Sickert, B. A.

Goethe-University Frankfurt
Assistant of Prof. Forst

Phone: +49 (0) 69 / 798 - 31541
Fax: +49 (0) 69 / 798 - 31542

Building "Normative Ordnungen"
Max-Horkheimer-Straße 2, 60629 Frankfurt
Room 4.02                                                         

Office hours for students
Mon -  Thu, 2 - 4 pm - and on appointment


Events and updates from the professorship

LECTURES »The Nature of Normative Concepts: Dependence vs. Independence«

From October 3-5, 2023, Rainer Forst will be giving the Jerome S. Simon Lectures at the University of Toronto, titled »The Nature of Normative Concepts: Dependence vs. Independence«. In these lectures, he discusses the distinction between normatively dependent and normatively independent concepts. Normatively dependent concepts, such as solidarity and trust, are descriptive in nature and require other normative sources to have normative value. The normatively independent concept of justice, on the other hand, entails a normative content that guides all possible conceptions of justice.

Find more information on the lectures here:

Jerome S. Simon Lectures

WORKING PAPER »The Justification of Trust in Conflict«

As part of the cluster initiative "ConTrust - Trust in Conflict", Rainer Forst has published a working paper entitled "The Justification of Trust in Conflict. Conceptual and Normative Groundwork". In this paper, he argues that trust and conflict should not be understood as opposing terms. Furthermore, he differentiates between a general concept and specific conceptions of trust, and argues that trust is only normatively valuable if it is well justified.

Download the full working paper here:

»The Justification of Trust in Conflict«

TALK »The Radical Rawls«

On September 21, 2021, Rainer Forst held a talk at the »9th International Symposium on Justice in Honor of Professor Manfredo Araújo de Oliveira. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of John Rawls’s Birth and 50 years of A Theory of Justice and of Gustavo Gutiérrez’s Theology of Liberation« entitled »The Radical Rawls: Justice as Fairness as a Critique of Liberalism«. He speaks of a radical idea that lies at the basis of Rawls's egalitarian theory: »I call that the all-in-principle of the founding moment of the charter for the well-ordered society, which is a Kantian rather than a Lockean moment.«

Here you can listen to the presentation in full length (from minute 50:00):

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SYMPOSIUM on Forst's conception of power

Rainer Forst responds to the critics of his theory of Noumenal Power in the Journal of Political Power.

The final manuscript of Forst's reply ‘Noumenal Power Revisited: Reply to Critics‘ is available online.