Afsoun Afsahi

Postdoctoral Fellow

Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
October 2017–September 2018

Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:
»Who constitutes legitimate demos? Settlers, migrants, and the indigenous populations«

Project outline:
My research agenda explores the challenges, opportunities, and best methods of inclusion and representation of marginalized communities in democratic decision-making processes. In my doctoral dissertation, I examined whether people are willing and capable of engaging in deliberations with those with whom they disagree on issues that touch upon their cultural and religious identities. In particular, I devised and, through experiments, tested the efficacy of two facilitation methods in increasing the capacity of participants to participate in a respectful, reflective, and constructive way. While I found some evidence of unwillingness for participation in deliberations that can challenge the cultural and religious identities of participants, the facilitative methods were both highly successful at increasing discourse quality by limiting the instances of engagement in undesired behaviours. In my future research, I will expand this research to consider the best methods of evaluation and regulation of speech in liberal multicultural democracies in addition to a project that looks at the all- affected principle through the lens of principles of justice. (Afsoun Afsahi)

Funding of the stay:
»Justitia Amplificata. Rethinking Justice − Applied and Global«

Scholarly profile of Afsoun Afsahi

In 2016, Afsoun Afsahi received her PhD from the University of British Columbia with a dissertation entitled »Can we talk? Examining Willingness and Facilitating Deliberative Capital«. From September 2018 on, following her stay at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Afsoun Afsahi will be Assistant professor of Political Theory of Gender at Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Please find more information about Afsoun Afsahi here.

Main areas of research:
Democratic theory, discourse theory, multicultrualism, quantitative and experimental methodology

Selected publications:
  1. »Kantian democracy: interdependence, legitimacy, and progress«, Manuscript submitted for publication to Telos, 2017. (Forthcoming)