My doctoral dissertation on Immanuel Kant's 1795 work “Zum ewigen Frieden. Ein philosophischer Entwurf” (“Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch”) has led to several of my other research areas. I have delved into the history of ideas around concepts such as peace, world citizenship, and neutrality. I examine why these concepts become so central in human life, and how they have been interpreted and perceived in different temporal and spatial contexts.
With my research, I show how ideas and concepts have changed over time and try to explain why this is the case. A particularly important task for research, is not only to deliver results in the form of answers, but also to ask questions, while not avoiding them for their size and existential perspectives.
One such question is, why is peace so difficult to achieve? Furthermore, what is peace, what makes peace, how has it been imagined during different times? An area that is close to the idea of peace is the notion of world citizenship, an idea that developed into an international research area in connection with the end of the Cold War. The idea of world citizenship, or cosmopolitanism, is part of a long but not unbroken millennial tradition of ideas. It is connected with such concepts as equality and rights, power and powerlessness, inclusion and exclusion, and is seen through many different expressions.
In one of my research programmes, I have examined some attempts over the past hundred years to put world citizenship into practice, both organisationally — for example, through the so-called Nansen Passports — and through the actions of some individuals. With my research, I want to give perspectives on the great societal challenges of our time and hopefully help to deepen the view of what it means to be human.