Sven Opitz

Prof. Dr. Sven Opitz

Institute of Sociology
Ketzerbach 11, 35032 Marburg
+49 6421 28-24372

Research Area

With a background in social theory, Sven Opitz is a political sociologist who analyses the temporal, spatial and material aspects of security technologies. His main research focus is on biopolitical ecologies of global disease control. Currently, Sven works on two projects: First, he is interested in the administrative protocols designed to prepare for pandemics and to accommodate planetary health in the Anthropocene. Second, he explores contemporary practices of “symbiotic engineering”, looking at how large-scale problems (such as Dengue Virus Disease) are addressed by microbial means (by infecting vector populations with Wolbachia bacteria). Drawing on analytical tools from science and technology studies, Sven investigates biosocial entanglements and seeks to turn them into a site for interdisciplinary collaboration.


biosocial theory
political ecology
symbiotic collectives
global health security
affects of fear
sociology of risk
administrative media
planetary space

Recent Publications

1. Folkers A, Opitz S (2019) Symbiose als Begriff und Gegenstand der Soziologie: Für eine Analyse von Biosozialität im Zeitalter des Mikrobioms, in: Nicole Burzan (Hg.): Komplexe Dynamiken globaler und lokaler Entwicklungen. Verhandlungen des 39. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Göttingen, DGS, S. 1-13.

2. Opitz S (2017) Simulating the World: The Digital Enactment of Pandemics as a Mode of Global Self-Observation. European Journal of Social Theory 20(3): 392-416.

3. Opitz S (2016) Regulating Epidemic Space: The Nomos of Global Circulation. Journal for International Relations and Development 19(2): 263-284.

SYNMIKRO Young Researchers Groups

Almost all scientific members of SYNMIKRO are actively involved in DFG’s Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche), Research Training Groups (Graduiertenkollegs), or other Cooperative Research projects. Alongside performing adventurous experiments, and reporting excellent science, SYNMIKRO substantially promotes potential Young Research Group Leaders by constantly keeping its doors open to welcome and support Young Researchers planning to set up an Independent Research Group.
Our Young Research Groups