Alumni Postdoc Fellow

Dr Katrin Seidel

Alumni Fellows

Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research
Schifferstraße 44
47059 Duisburg

Tel:  +49 (0)203 29861-102
Fax: +49 (0)203 379-5276
E-mail: seidel@spam


Dr. Katrin Seidel joined Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research as a Postdoc Fellow. She conducted her research in Research Unit 3 'Global Governance Revisited' from September 2015 to August 2016.

Research Project at the Centre

Involvement and Impact of External Actors on Constitution Making in South Sudan and Somaliland: A Comparative Study

The study focuses on the international dimension of constitution making in South Sudan and Somaliland. Comparing both cases appears to be thought-provoking: Diametric to the constitution making efforts in South Sudan, where immense external interventions become obvious, the constitution making in the de facto independent Republic of Somaliland seems rather have been taken place without massive external intervention.

Attention will be given not only to the influence and impact of intermediaries who transfer certain technologies from one context to the other in order to promote certain normative ideas and to legitimise authority claims, but also to the interplay between plural legal cultures and politics and transnational ideas and politics. This comparative study is chosen to better understand the dynamics and conditions of external involvement in constitution-making processes. Particularly the study assesses the question to which extent such involvement contributes to ideas of ‘cohesion’, ‘peace’ and ‘to stabilized governance’? It seeks to examine implications different forms and degrees of internationalized post-conflict constitution-making have on ideas of statehood and sovereignty. While providing insights into ‘interfaces between global and regional negotiation processes’, the idea of legitimacy is re-evaluated in light of ‘the tensions between sovereignty and intervention’.

Research Interests

  • Legal Anthropology
  • Legal Pluralism
  • Legal Theory
  • Statehood
  • Governance
  • Constitutionalism
  • Rule of Law
  • Judicial Designs
  • Mobility of Legal Concepts
  • Citizenship

Current Projects

  • Involvement and Impact of External Actors on Constitution-Making in South Sudan and Somaliland: A Comparative Study
  • 'South Sudan's Constitutional Genesis in the Context of Legal Pluralism'


Since 11/2012 Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale), Germany
Department for Law and Anthropology
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
11/2009-07/2011 BOS Deutschland e.V.
Legal Department
Legal Advisor
10/2005-07/2006 Regis24 GmbH
Legal Department
Company Lawyer
04/2005-07/2007 Humboldt University of Berlin
Institute of Asian and African Studies
Student Employee
03/2005-05/2005 German Red Cross Society
International Cooperation, Africa Section
Legal Advisor

Selected Publications

Seidel, Katrin (forthcoming 2016): 'Constitutional Recognition of Sharia Courts in Ethiopia: Governmental Strategies to Co-Regulate the Plural Family Law Arena', in: F. Diallo and A. S. Anamzoya (eds.), Legal Pluralism in African Courts: Actors, Institutions and Governance, Brill.

Seidel, Katrin (forthcoming 2016): 'Normative Space-Sharing in Africa', (co-ed. with H. Elliesie), collective volume, Ashgate.

Seidel, Katrin (forthcoming 2016): 'Legal Systems: Ethiopia’s state recognised legal pluralism', in: S. Uhlig et al. (eds.), Ethiopean Book. A Handbook Ethiopia.

Seidel, Katrin (forthcoming 2016): 'When the State is forced to deal with local law: Approaches and Challenges for State Actors in South Sudan', in: M. Hoehne and O. Zenker (eds.), Processing the Paradox: When the State has to Deal with Customary Law, Ashgate.

Seidel, Katrin (2015): ‘Introduction: Peace and constitution making in emerging South Sudan on and beyond the negotiation tables’, Special collection: Emerging South Sudan: Negotiating Statehood (co-author and co-ed. Timm Sureau), Journal of Eastern African Studies 9 (4).

Seidel, Katrin (2015): 'State Formation through Constitution Making in Emerging South Sudan: Unveiling the Technicity of the Rule of Law', Recht in Africa - Law in Africa - Droit en Afrique 18.

Seidel, Katrin (2015): Review of Manfred Öhm: 'War and Statehood in South Sudan', Baden-Baden: Nomos 2014, in Africa Spectrum 50/3, GIGA Hamburg, 148–50.

Seidel, Katrin (2015): 'Egypt’s Constitution-Making process: A Bumpy Road', in: T. Marauhn and H. Elliesie (eds.), Legal Transformation in North Africa and South Sudan.

Seidel, Katrin (2015): 'The Current State of Research on Contemporary Islam in Ethiopia: A Critical Assessment', in: H. Elliesie (ed.), Multidisciplinary Views on the Horn of Africa, Köln.

Seidel, Katrin (2013): Rechtspluralismus in Äthiopien: Interdependenzen zwischen Islamischem Recht und staatlichem Recht, Köln: Koeppe.

Seidel, Katrin (2012): 'Secularism and State-recognized Legal Pluralism in Ethiopia: Relationship between Islamic Family Law and State Law', Law in Africa 2.

Seidel, Katrin (2011): 'The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan: Ein kontroverses Dokument des jüngsten Mitglieds der Staatengemeinschaft', Journal of the Association for Arabic and Islamic Law (GAIR-Mitteilungen), H. Elliesie and P. Scholz (eds.).

Seidel, Katrin (2009): 'Results of the Ethiopian Reform in Language and Education Policy', in: C. Griefenow-Mewis (ed.), On Results of the Reform in Ethiopian Language and Education Policies, Harrassowitz Publ.

Seidel, Katrin (2009): 'Changes in Ethiopia’s Language and Education Policy – Pioneering Reforms?', in: S. Ege et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies 1, Trondheim.

Seidel, Katrin (2008): 'Review of Charles Mwalimu: The Nigerian Legal System', Public law, New York, NY [u.a.] 2007, in: Orientalistische Literaturzeitung (Academic Oriental Literature Journal (OLZ)) 103/1, Berlin.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • An International Course on Legal Pluralism, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India (10–12 December 2015)
  • Introduction to Legal Anthropology, Faculty of Law, Augsburg University, Germany (Winter 2015/16)
  • Introduction to Legal Anthropology, Faculty of Law, Augsburg University, Germany (Winter 2014/15)
  • Translating Between Legal Cultures, jointly with M. Ramstedt, REMEP Summer University, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany (30.06.–05.07.2014)
  • Kulturelle Übersetzung in der Rechtsethnologie, jointly with Martin Ramstedt, Dept. Anthropology and Philosophy, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany (Summer 2014)
  • Negotiating Law: Dynamics of Selection and Translation, jointly with S. Bedoya Sánchez, Faculty of Law, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany (Summer 2014)
  • Processes of ‘State Collapse’ and State Emergence in the Region Horn of Africa, Institute of Asian and African Studies, HU Berlin, Germany (Summer 2012)
  • Comparing Political and Legal Systems: Ethiopia and Germany, Dept. Political Science and International Relations, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia (Winter 2008/09)
  • Project-Seminar on ‘Language and Education Policy in Ethiopia’, Institute of Asian and African Studies, HU Berlin, Germany (Summer 2004–2006)

Seminars and Conferences

  • ‘Rule of Law promotion: technologies of legal knowledge transfer in emerging South Sudan’, International Conference of the Commission on Legal Pluralism, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai/India (14-16 Dec 2015)
  • ‘Rule of Law promotion in South Sudan: Reflections on its promises and its effects’, and 'Verfassungsrechtlich anerkanntes islamisches Recht und die Scharia-Gerichtsbarkeit in Äthiopien’, Die Versprechungen des Rechts, 9-11 September 2015 (10 and 11 September 2015)
  • ‘Verfassungsrechtlich anerkanntes islamisches Recht und die Scharia-Gerichtsbarkeit in Äthiopien: Ein prozeduraler Ansatz?’, Session: Rule of Law als Maßstab für nicht-staatliche Rechtssysteme?, Die Versprechungen des Rechts, 9-11 September 2015 (11 September 2015)
  • ‘Confronting Challenges in the Context of Constitution Building in Africa. The Case of South Sudan’, International Conference on Constitution Building in Africa, CEU Budapest/Hungary, 22-25 July 2015 (24 July 2015)
  • ‘The Emerging State of South Sudan - Quo vadis? - Constitution making efforts in the context of legal pluralism’, Werkstattgespräche, Law and Society Institute, HU Berlin, Berlin/Germany (7 July 2015)
  • ‘Secularism, Religion and "Accommodating Diversity": Ethiopia's constitutional recognition of Islamic law and Sharia courts’, Forum of Political Science and Strategic Studies and Mekelle University Wray Witten Law Forum, College of Law and Governance, Mekelle University, Mekelle/Ethiopia (12 June 2015)
  • ‘The Disorders of "the Rule of Law": South Sudan's Constitution-Making Processes’, Horn of Africa Seminar, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, UK (10 March 2015)
  • ‘State Formation through Constitution-Making in Emerging South Sudan: Unpacking the Technicity of the Rule of Law’, Conference Justice in Sudan and South Sudan, Law School, Durham University, UK (15-16 December 2014)
  • ‘State Formation through Constitution-Making in Emerging South Sudan: Unpacking the Technicity of the Rule of Law’, Annual Conference of the African Law Association, jointly with Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, University of Erfurt, Erfurt/Germany (7-8 November 2014)
  • ‘Constitutional Recognition of Islamic law and Sharia Courts in Ethiopia: Towards a procedural approach?’, Jour Fixe Balancing Religious Accommodation and Human Rights in Constitutional Frameworks, Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF), Bielefeld/Germany (22 July 2014)
  • ‘Constitution-making in Emerging South Sudan: Towards a Constitution of "Zol Meskin"?’, Workshop Constitution Building in Africa, CEU, Budapest/Hungary (4-6 July 2014)
  • ‘Negotiation Normative Spaces: Introductory Thoughts’, Workshop Negotiation Normative Spaces: Insights from and into African Judicial Encounters, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Germany (7-9 November 2013)


  • African Law Association (ALA), Board Member
  • Association for Arabic and Islamic Law (GAIR)
  • Commission on Legal Pluralism (CLP)
  • International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES)
  • The Horn of Africa Research Association (WAKHVA), Board Member


  • Berlin State Funding for Graduates (NafoeG), Three-Years-PhD-scholarship (2008–2010)
  • German Academic Exchange Service, 17th International Ethiopian Studies Conference, Addis Ababa/ Ethiopia (2009)
  • German Research Council-Project-Grant (Education Policy Ethiopia) (2007)
  • German Academic Exchange Service / EU Commission, One-Year Scholarship (Erasmus/Sokrates Programme), Athens/Greece  (1999–2000)

Dr Philip Liste

Dr. Blayne Haggart

Prof. Dr Marianne Marchand

Dr Tamirace Fakhoury

Dr Adam Sandor

Prof. Dr Claudia Derichs

Dr Stephen Adaawen

Dr Dr Ariel Hernández

Prof. Dr Frank Adloff

Dr Bettina Mahlert

Dr Franz Mauelshagen

Prof. Dr Dr Marlies Ahlert

Dr Zeynep Sahin Mencutek

Dr Mariana Nardone

Dr Ying Shen

Prof. Dr Andreas Thiel

Dr Esref Aksu

Dr Micheline van Riemsdijk

Prof. Dr Wouter Werner

Dr Pol Bargués-Pedreny

Dr Burcu Bayram

Dr Isaline Bergamaschi

Dr Felix Bethke

Dr Sarah Van Beurden

Jun.-Prof. Dr Manuel Borutta

Gerardo Bracho

Dr Morgan Brigg

Prof. Dr Lothar Brock

Prof. Stephen Brown

Prof. Dr Susanne Buckley-Zistel

Prof. Dr Bettina Burger-Menzel

Dr Alessandra Cappelletti

Prof. David Carment, Ph.D.

Dr Paula Castro

Dr Ayse Cavdar

Prof. Dr Gerald Chan

Prof. David Chandler

Prof. Hongming Cheng

Prof. Dr Manjiao Chi

Prof. Andrew Cooper

Prof. Dr Larry Crump

Prof. Dr Susan Erikson

Dr Alejandro Esguerra

Prof. Dr Isabel Feichtner

Dr Peter Finkenbusch

Jaroslava Gajdošová, Ph.D.

Prof. Noemi Gal-Or, Ph.D., LL.B.

Dr Daniel Gaus

Mneesha Gellman, Ph.D.

Dr Payam Ghalehdar

Prof. Faten Ghosn

Dr Gianluca Grimalda

Dr Jennifer Gronau

Dr Stefan Groth

Prof. Dr Eric Grynaviski

Dr Petra Gümplová

Prof. Dr Gunther Hellmann

Dr Heike Hennig-Schmidt

Prof. Dr Pablo Holmes

Dr Joe Hoover

Prof. Dr Jon Hovi

Prof. Meibo Huang

Dr Abou Jeng

Prof. Dr Anja Jetschke

Prof. Dr Jonathan Joseph

Dr Yannis Kallianos

Dr phil. habil. Otto Kallscheuer

Prof. Dr Babacar Kanté

Prof. Dr Ina Kerner

Dr Kai Koddenbrock

Mag. Dr Martina Kopf

Prof. Dr Bernd Lahno

Prof. Siddharth Mallavarapu

Dr Xavier Mathieu

Aysem Mert, Ph.D.

PD Dr Christian Meyer

Dr Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby

Dr Elisabetta Nadalutti

Dr James Nyomakwa-Obimpeh

Dr Dirk Peters

Dr Steven Pierce

Prof. Elena Pulcini

Prof. Dr Sigrid Quack

Dr Salvador Santino F. Regilme

Dr Nicole Renvert

Dr Mathieu Rousselin

Dr Galya Ruffer

Dr Olivia Rutazibwa

Mag. Dr Ariane Sadjed

Dr Shirin Saeidi

Prof. Dr Enrique Saravia

Dr Andrea Schapper

Prof. Dr Klaus Schlichte

Dr Jessica Schmidt

Dr Mario Schmidt

Prof. Dr Ulrich Schneckener

Prof. Jan Aart Scholte

Dr habil. Birgit Schwelling

Dr Katrin Seidel

Dr Balraj K. Sidhu

Dr Deepshikha Shahi

Dr Abdolkarim Soroush

Prof. Detlef Sprinz, Ph.D.

Dr Holger Straßheim

Dr Ángela Suárez-Collado

Dr Liam Swiss

Prof. Dr Christian J. Tams

Margret Thalwitz

Dr Peter Thiery

Prof. emerit. Arild Underdal

Dr rer. pol. Winfried Veit

Dr Wanda Vrasti

Prof. Dong Wang

Dr Hung-Jen Wang

Prof. Dr Herbert Wulf

Prof. Dr Dvora Yanow

Dr Fariborz Zelli

Prof. Dr Shirin Zubair