4-year PhD position in ERC project “Africa’s Infrastructure Globalities” with focus on Chinese projects in East Africa

Bayreuth, Germany
Deadline: 15th Sep 2019

The PhD researcher (m/f/d) will be part of INFRAGLOB, the project “AFRICA’s ‘INFRASTRUCTURE GLOBALITIES’: Rethinking the Political Geographies of Economic Hubs from the Global South” funded by the European Research Council (2018-2024, www.newpoliticalgeographies.com/infraglob).

Under the guidance of the PI, you will conduct your main research in East Africa and China. You will analyze Chinese discourses on their infrastructure projects in the region, and conduct interviews and in-depth field research on practices of managing community relations and security around selected Chinese mining and port projects. You will build networks and work with local researchers on both sides during several months of fieldwork. You will contribute to a project database, project website, research workshops and other events, and will have the opportunity to participate in project publications. The position offers the opportunity to write a PhD thesis in this context and to be integrated in a relevant graduate school (e.g. the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS)).

The overall INFRAGLOB project starts from the observation that in a world increasingly shaped by non-state actors and technical systems, power beyond the state is one of the major challenges of contemporary international relations. Yet how that plays out in South-South relations, and shapes global governance, remains little understood. It therefore focuses on new infrastructure ‘globalities’ from below to understand how governance, and the way it is spatially organized, is redefined by the experiences and practices of actors from the Global South, and as it emerges from business-society relations in China-Africa and Brazil-Africa relations. The project posits that significant change emerges from the circulation and friction of diverse practitioners, technologies and practices in South-South projects.


We invite applications from candidates with:

  • a very good (research) master degree in International Relations, Development Studies, Global Studies, Sociology, Human Geography or Anthropology with a relevant area specialization, or in Sinology or African Studies with a focus on one of the above fields.
  • excellent qualitative research skills, proven experience with field research methods and conducting and analyzing in-depth interviews and field observations desirable; also experience with qualitative discourse or content analysis and related software.
  • proven knowledge of South-South relations, postcolonial theory and/or international political sociology
    fluency in English both spoken and written is a must; good understanding of Mandarin and/or Swahili desirable.

Conditions of employment

The position is for 75% for four years. The University of Bayreuth offers a salary in accordance with the collective agreement of the German Länder for civil service (TV-L) at pay scale E 13 (the specific salary will be determined according to individual qualification and professional experience).

The start date is as soon as possible.

The University of Bayreuth as an equal opportunity employer promotes gender equality and diversity. Therefore, we encourage women and international candidates to apply. Equally qualified candidates with disabilities or applicants with equivalent status receive preference in the application process.


Please submit the following documents:

  • a letter of motivation
  • a curriculum vitae (including date and place of birth, copies of MA degree and a transcript of the grades obtained) and names and contact details of two academic refereesdetails of publications if any and one sample writing
  • 2-3 pages proposal for a (potential) PhD project to be conducted in the context of INFRAGLOB.

You may apply for this position until 15 September 2019. Please submit your documents as one single pdf file to: entwicklungssoziologie@uni-bayreuth.de

If you have further questions about the position, you are welcome to contact Jana Hönke at j.hoenke@rug.nl. She will move with the INFRAGLOB project to the University of Bayreuth from October 2019.

Visit the website for this announcement: External Link…