Meet the scientists researching at Goethe University: Legal Scholar and Criminologist Tobias Singelnstein

We wanted to know: Why did our scientists want to become scientists in the first place? What are they working on, and what do they still want to discover? You can read their answers to these questions and more – including how they motivate their working groups and what they could really do without – as part of this series, which successively introduces some of the people behind the research conducted at Goethe University.

Name: Tobias Singelnstein
Profession: Legal Scholar and Criminologist
Place of work: Institute for Criminal Justice and the Philosophy of Law

Why did you become a scientist?

I like to get to the bottom of things and am interested in how the world works. Science provides me with the space and time to do this.

What are you currently working on?

I focus on police research. We are currently working on several externally funded projects – including on the use of force, on discrimination, as well as on accountability mechanisms. In addition, I am also writing a commentary in criminal procedure law.

What do you still want to find out/discover?

I have been thinking a lot lately about the social function of criminal law and how it has changed over time, as well as about social notions of crime and how they interact with criminal policy. I would like to make time for these topics in the future.

What does your ideal workday look like?

I like the satisfaction that sets in after having given a good lecture just as much as days without many appointments, and time to read and write. Either way, the day should start in peace.

What could you easily do without in your daily work?

That’s easy: The daily flood of mails and unproductive meetings.

What I like about my job is…

…the great freedom to intensively engage with important and exciting topics, which you can identify yourself, as well as the exchange with so many interesting people.

How do you motivate your working group?

I try to give a lot of room to joint discussions on content and am always happy to see people contribute their own ideas and projects. A shared sense of achievement and good time together outside of the office are important, too.

To me, Goethe University Frankfurt is…

…a wonderful place for interdisciplinary collaboration and research not only on my topics in criminology, but also on criminal law.

How do you get your mind off research?

I find that difficult, but music, a good novel, family and friends help.

Prof. Dr. Tobias Singelnstein is a member of the ConTrust cluster initiative. The cluster project explores the interplay of trust and mistrust in crisis and conflict situations.

More information on Prof. Singelnstein’s research topics is available here.

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