Justitia Center for Advanced Studies

Announcing our Fellows

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Three scholars will join us

The »Justitia Center for Advanced Studies« is happy to announce its new post-doctoral fellows for the academic year 2020-21. They are excellent and exciting theorists, and we are delighted to welcome them. Justitia is a forum for political theorists and philosophers. It is generously funded by the Alfons and Gertrud Kassel-Stiftung and directed by Prof. Dr. Rainer Forst at the University of Frankfurt. The fellows, who reside at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg, will be part of the Frankfurt academic community, especially of the Normative Orders Research Network, and conduct their individual research projects. The Center also holds regular research workshops, conferences and seminars.


Lea Klarenbeek was trained as a political theorist at the London School of Economics (MSc.) and the University of Amsterdam (PhD 2020). Her work focuses on the conception of integration in migration studies and aims to bridge a divide between migration and inequality theory on the one hand, and empirical research practices on these issues on the other. During her time as a Justitia Fellow, she aims to further develop her framework of »relational integration.« This framework should provide empirical migration scholars the tools to grasp relevant problems of inequality related to immigration, while also being susceptible to the ways in which political discourses have made »civic integration« into a normatively dubious objective. Her work has been published in Migration Studies (2019), Comparative Migration Studies (2019) and Critical Policy Studies (2019). 

Aliénor Ballangé graduated in European Studies and holds a PhD in Political Theory from Sciences Po Paris. Her PhD thesis was entitled The Brussels’ Invention. European Integration: By the People or For the People?. Combining methods of political science, historical analysis and philosophical problematization, the thesis focused on the intellectual genesis of the European Community's democratic integration project. In 2019, she was awarded the »Prix de la Chancellerie« in Political Science by Sorbonne University for it. She also worked as Teaching and Research Fellow at Sciences Po Bordeaux/Centre Émile Durkheim. At Justitia, she will research the originalities and the use of the »post-democracy« concept to specify how it can help to understand what kind of »democratic deficit« the EU is currently confronted with. Her work appeard in Noesis (2018), French politics (2017 and Le Philosophoire (2015). 

Gordon Arlen received his PhD in political theory from the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago in 2017. From 2018-2020, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam, teaching and working within the grant project of Dr. Enzo Rossi. His project focuses on democratic theory and the normative dimensions of political economy in both a contemporary and historical frame. Specifically, he explores the complex mechanisms of elite influence concentrated at the very top of the economic pyramid, among a diverse group of people he refers to as »oligarchs«. Oligarchs are agents with personal access to massive concentrated wealth and who deploy that wealth for discretionary influence in the public domain. This category thus encompasses a range of actors. Some billionaires use their wealth to secure elective office, for example, while others deploy their wealth in more informal ways, as political activists and media moguls. His current book manuscript, Oligarchs Among Us, provides a historically informed theorization of oligarchic power in contemporary democracies. His research has been published in European Journal of Political Theory (2019), Inquiry (2018) and Polity (2017).