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Historisches Seminar

ERC Consolidator Grant for PD Dr. Benjamin Straumann

The Department of History congratulates PD Dr. Benjamin Straumann on having been awarded a highly prestigious Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council. Together with his team Benjamin Straumann will research the influence of Roman politician and philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BC) on Western theories of justice: What is justice? Can republics survive in the long term without justice? Is it possible for justice to be established at an institutional level and used as a benchmark in international relations? According to Cicero, the stability of a state requires a specific, juridical kind of justice. Liberty or popular sovereignty, too, require and presuppose a particular conception of justice.
The aim of the project is to shed light on how the notion of justice has developed since antiquity and show how Cicero’s conception of justice came to play a crucial role in Western political thought.
Benjamin Straumann is one of six researchers at the University of Zurich who have been awarded ERC Consolidator Grants.