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Welcome to the DFG Research Unit “Law – Gender – Collectivity”

Our interdisciplinary Research Unit has been active since January 2018. It brings together scholars of law, sociologists, European ethnologists and historians from the three major Berlin universities, the University of Potsdam and the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). Central to our research are the contestations around participation and social cohesion in the present. We ask how collectives emerge, how they are maintained, and how they negotiate concepts and imaginations of the common. We look at these processes from the perspective of law and gender. In a nutshell, our research is driven by this question: How can we make sense of current social conflicts when we look at them through the lens of legally normed and gendered processes of collectivization? Read more…

The Research Unit consists of six sub-projects and a coordinating project. In every sub-project, a team investigates a particular empirical research field. In our second funding phase (2021-2024), these are environmental law and climate litigation (A), transnational labor conflicts (B), urban & housing commons (C), consumer protection (D), processes of infrastructurization (E), and human rights, queer genders and sexualities since the 1970s (F).


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Postcategorical Thinking: How Can Asylum Law and Anti-Discrimination Law Learn from Each Other?

Kick-off event

Postcategorical Thinking: How can asylum law and anti-discrimination law learn from each other?

Thursday, 18.3.2021, 6 p.m.

With: Susanne Baer, Nora Markard and Petra Sußner

Moderation: Ray Trautwein

Difference dilemma and intersectionality give the keywords: to fight exclusions with the right can perpetuate categories and everyday knowledge that justify these exclusions. If exclusions function multidimensionally, the need for protection may not be captured in law at all. These are challenges that feminist legal studies and legal gender studies have been addressing for decades. In addition to problem diagnoses, the focus is on ways out of the dilemma. One currently central proposal is post-categorical anti-discrimination law (ADR). The thesis discussed here is that asylum law could be a profound interlocutor for such a postcategorical ADR. Its legal foundations contain specific clues for an intersectional and structurally sensitive practice. However, compared to ADR, postcategorical perspectives in asylum law have hardly been discussed academically so far. In this sense, how can asylum law and anti-discrimination law learn from each other?

Susanne Baer is a central theorist of postcategorical antidiscrimination law and skeptical of the vulnerability concept - which is prominent in asylum law. Nora Markard points out the intersectional potential of asylum law under the title "Intersectionality avant la lettre?". Petra Sußner brings together intersectional and postcategorial approaches in the claim for asylum law protection against heteronormativity. Together, they bring anti-discrimination law and asylum law into intradisciplinary conversation and present new perspectives on a central problem of feminist legal studies and legal gender studies for discussion. It will be moderated by Ray Trautwein, research associate and PhD student at the University of Potsdam. In the research group Law - Gender - Collectivity, Ray Trautwein works on anti-discrimination law in the German Armed Forces.