Sven Altenburger

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

Biographical Details
Sven Altenburger is Research Associate at the University of Göttingen. His PhD Project, jointly supervised by Prof Tine Stein (Göttingen) and Prof Dario Castiglione (Exeter), is funded by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. He holds an MA (with Distinction) in History of Political Thought from Queen Mary University of London and University College London, and a BA (1st class) in Politics and History from Kiel University. Sven has been a DAAD scholarship recipient, a visiting student at the University of Copenhagen, and a visiting PhD student at the University of Exeter. Prior to pursuing his PhD, he was a Project Manager at the German think tank 'Das Progressive Zentrum'.

Research Interests

  • Theories of Citizenship and Republicanism
  • 19th and 20th Century German and American Political Thought
  • Methods in Political Theory and the History of Political Thought

PhD Project: The Constitutional Duties of Citizens
Conceptions of citizenship within contemporary political theory are predominantly based on rights, identity, or civic virtue. Contrary to this, in my PhD Project I intend to advance a duty-based account of citizenship, which holds a number of descriptive and prescriptive merits. More specifically, I engage in a historical, institutional, and theoretical reconstruction and rethinking of the American and German constitutional traditions, pertaining in particular to taxation, military service, and schooling.

Selected Papers

  • 'Schooling as Citizen-Making in 20th Century America and Germany', History of Political Ideas Early Career Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London, 27/11/2019.
  • 'Rethinking American and German Conscription', Fifth Political Theory Graduate Conference, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), 15/3/2019.
  • 'The Civic Duty of Military Service', Political Theory Reading Group, University of Exeter, 7/11/2018.
  • 'The Legal Duties of Citizens' (in German), Tenth Postgraduate Workshop in Democracy Studies, Leuphana University Lüneburg, 5/5/2017.
  • 'Habermas’ Public Sphere: Historical or Theoretical Concept?', Public and Private in the History of Political Thought. Sixth Annual London Graduate Conference in the History of Political Thought, University of London, 6/6/2015.
  • 'Karl Löwenstein’s Militant Democracy in Relation to Weber and Schmitt', Protecting Liberal Democracy: Normative and Empirical Perspectives, Princeton University/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 29/7/2014.


  • 20th Century American Political Thought (BA Course, University of Göttingen, Autumn Term 2019)
  • Introduction to the History of Political Thought (Introductory BA Course, University of Göttingen, Spring Term 2018)
  • Citizenship Theory (MA Course, Kiel University, Autumn Term 2017)
  • Republicanism: Historical and Contemporary Theories (Advanced BA Course, Kiel University, Autumn Term 2016 and Spring Term 2017)