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Outstanding master's theses honored with Nora Platiel Prize

The Nora Platiel Prize for outstanding master's theses in the fields of social law and social policy was awarded for the third time. Sebastian Niemczyk, a graduate from Kassel, and Mira Bickert, a graduate from Kassel, received the coveted award on September 14, 2023.

Award ceremony, from left: Lukas Kiepe (moderator of the evening and jury member), the award winners Sebastian Niemczyk and Mira Bickert, Nicola Behrend (judge at the Federal Social Court and laudator for Sebastian Niemczyk), Prof. Dr. Andreas Hänlein (Chairman of the Association for the Promotion of Research and Knowledge Transfer in Social Law and Social Policy). In the background: Prof. Dr. Heinz Bude (laudator for Mira Bickert).

The award ceremony took place in the Senate Hall of the University of Kassel. The Research Association for Social Law and Social Policy (FoSS) awards the prize together with the Association for the Promotion of Research and Knowledge Transfer in Social Law and Social Policy e.V. Outstanding master's and state examination theses in the fields of social policy, social law, and social sciences written at the University of Kassel, Fulda University of Applied Sciences, or the University of Statutory Accident Insurance in Bad Hersfeld are honored. The submitted works should be of particular scientific quality as well as social relevance and should combine both. The Nora Platiel Prize is endowed with 2000 euros and is divisible.

Sebastian Niemczyk received the prize for his master's thesis "The participation of nursing home residents in the conclusion of care rate agreements in SGB XI" submitted to the Department of Economics. Subtitle: "A consideration from the perspective of democratic legitimacy in the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court." Mr. Niemczyk was a student in the cooperative master's program in Social Law and Social Economy (LL.M.). In his thesis, he examines "whether there is a democratic deficit in the conclusion of care rate agreements," which he concludes in the affirmative. On the one hand, nursing home residents have to pay very high costs for their care; on the other hand, they can hardly have a say in determining the costs that affect them, an aspect that has a "special sociopolitical significance."  He sees himself confirmed in wanting "to devote himself to the problems of long-term care insurance in the future as well."

"Contemporary Art in the Eyes of Lay People. A typology of lay reception of contemporary art using the example of receptions of a work by Taring Padi at documenta fifteen" is the title of Mira Bickert's (M.A.) master's thesis in sociology submitted to the Department of Social Sciences. She conducted 18 interviews with art laypeople who visit art exhibitions with varying frequency. The focus was on describing, interpreting and evaluating the controversial works of Taring Padi at documenta fifteen. Ms. Bickert was particularly pleased that "the perspectives of non-professionally involved viewers on contemporary art, which have hardly been explored so far, are attributed socio-political relevance with this prize."

The prize is named after the lawyer and social democrat Nora-Platiel (1896-1979). After exile in Paris and Zurich, she returned to Germany in 1949 and settled in Kassel. Here she worked at the Regional Court and the Higher Regional Court and became Kassel's first Regional Court Director. From 1954 to 1966 she was a member of the state parliament for the SPD and for several years was deputy chairwoman of the SPD parliamentary group. There she earned the reputation of being "the best speaker in parliament." In the 1960s, Nora Platiel was also committed to the fine arts in Kassel, among other things as a member of the Documenta Council. She was considered the socio-political conscience of Kassel's cultural bodies.

Katharina Weyrich M.Sc. PH
Coordinator Research Network for Social Law and Social Policy (FoSS) 
Tel.: +49561-804-3933
Mail: katharina.weyrich[at]uni-kassel[dot]de