Postdoc Change in Transnational Social / Security Standards

Groningen, Netherlands
Deadline: 11th Mar 2019

The Faculty of Arts is a large, dynamic faculty in the heart of the historic city of Groningen, in the North of the Netherlands. It has more than 5000 students and 700 staff members. The Faculty offers a wide range of degree programmes: 15 bachelor’s programmes and over 35 master’s specialisations. Vibrant research is facilitated by the Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG), the Centre for International Relations Research, Globalisation Studies Groningen and the Centre for East Asian Studies. The vacancy is at the department of International Relations & International Organization (IRIO). As member of the newly set up INFRAGLOB research group prestigiously funded by the European Research Council, you will become part of a first class and international research environment.

Postdoc Change in Transnational Social / Security Standards (1.0 FTE) (219063)

The researcher 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. 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. This project focuses on new infrastructure ‘globalities’ 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 emerges from business-society relations in South-South relations. Traditionally not seen as drivers of change, this project posits that significant change through emerging actors from the Global South emerges from the circulation and friction of diverse practitioners, technologies and practices. For more please see

You will conduct research on when interactions and frictions in diverse practitioner communities affect change in broader transnational governance. The emphasis will be on Brazilian and Chinese practitioners and technologies, following them between sites of large-scale infrastructure investment in Africa, home country and international fora. In this context, we would like a researcher to join the team who will

  • either conduct research on social safeguards in financial lending for large-scale economic projects, and thus on whether and how the emergence of new banks such as the NDB and the AIIB affect international lending practices with regard to social and environmental conditionalities
  • or conduct research on community relations and security standards for transnational companies, and thus on how and to what extent different ideas, professional cultures and historically grown practices of dealing with these issues interact and change global corporate governance.

In close cooperation with the PI, you will contribute to specifying the practice-theoretical framework and methodology. We offer collaboration with international research partners, and contribution to the high-level publication of project results. There will be the opportunity to developing your own research compatible with project responsibilities.

You are intellectually curious and enthusiastic about working in an international team across disciplinary and methodological boundaries.

You have

  • proven expertise in one of the two mentioned policy fields, and emerging powers, ideally with a focus on China or Brazil in Africa; familiarity with the sociology of organisations, communities of practice and/or actor-network theory would be valuable.
  • excellent qualitative research skills; proven expertise in conducting in-depth interviews and participant observation; experience with qualitative data analysis software is desirable
  • a PhD in a relevant social science discipline, such as Sociology, International Relations, International Development or Global Studies (degree should be completed before the start of the appointment)
  • relevant international networks and, ideally, experience with international collaboration
  • an excellent command of English, good knowledge of Mandarin or Portuguese would be an advantage. Knowledge of Dutch is not required.

Conditions of employment

The University of Groningen offers a salary depending on qualifications and work experience starting from a minimum of € 3,255 to a maximum of € 3,895 gross per month (salary scale 10.4 – 11.2 Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities) for a full-time position, excluding 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus and participation in a pension scheme for employees.

The 1.0 FTE appointment is temporary for a specified period of three years. A part-time option of 0.8 FTE for a longer duration may be discussed.

UG is an equal opportunities employer. We are committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities and from different nationalities.

The candidate will first be appointed for 12 months. After 9 months, an assessment will take place of the candidate’s results and the progress of the project to decide whether the employment will be continued.

We aim at a start date of 1 September 2019.


You may apply for this position until 10 March 11:59pm / before 11 March 2019 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on “Apply” below on the advertisement on the university website). Please merge all your application documents in one single PDF file under the Letter of Motivation attachment.

The following documents should be included:

  • 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 referees
  • if the PhD defense will be after the application, please send information on the defense date or a confirmation from your PhD adviser (or professor) on the expected defense date
  • a full list of publications
  • two sample writings
  • a 1-2 page description of your research plans for the coming 3 years (excluding bibliography).

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


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