Research Group "Voluntarism"

[Translate to English:] Bild zeigt Silhouetten auf einer Wand

The research group deals with voluntariness as a political practice in history and the present. The basic assumption of its research is that various types of "voluntariness" are central to the governance of different societies. Starting in October 2020, the Research Group "Voluntariness" will be funded by the DFG for three years.

Speaker of the group is Prof. Jürgen Martschukat

Project description


Subproject: Voluntariness and Political Practice in the Emerging USA

Author: Pia Herzan (University of Erfurt)


The subproject at the Chair of North American History examines the significance of voluntarism for the emerging United States and thus in the cradle of liberalism as a "new form of political life" (Appiah 2001, 306). The project will examine how the ideal of freedom became concrete in the new republic, which voluntary forms of thought and action "American citizenship" demanded, and how different people are attested different abilities to be voluntary and to be citizens were.

Reference: Appiah, Kwame Anthony, Liberalism, Individuality, and Identity, in: Critical Inquiry 27.2 (2001), 305-332