Stellenausschreibung: Doctoral Researcher (TVL E 13 / 65%)
The Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) at the University of Freiburg (Germany) is seeking to fill two positions as
Doctoral Researcher (Salary Level 65% TVL E 13) on the topics:
1) “The political economy of solar energy in Morocco”
2) “The political economy of solar energy in Jordan”
The positions are part of an Emmy Noether Junior Research Group, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), led by Dr. Benjamin Schuetze, and hosted by the ABI, on the overall topic ‘Renewable Energies, Renewed Authoritarianisms? The Political Economy of Solar Energy in the Middle East and North Africa’.
The successful candidates are expected to move to Freiburg, Germany, and start by April 1, 2023. Initial contracts will be for 2.5 years with possible extension of another 1.5 years. The selected candidates will enroll as PhD students with the University of Freiburg’s Faculty of Humanities, supervised by Dr. Benjamin Schuetze, and be provided with office space at the ABI.
- Completed MA degree with excellent grades (preferably with a focus on Middle Eastern studies, international relations, political science, anthropology, sociology, or political geography)
- Willingness to move to Freiburg, and to actively contribute to the work of the research group
- Past experience working and/or studying in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and willingness to conduct extensive field research (in total at least 7 months) in the MENA
- Thematic interest in energy politics and the transnational politics of authoritarian power in and beyond the MENA
- Strong analytical research skills and strong background in qualitative research methods
- Excellent organizational and communication skills
- Fluency in English, and intermediate knowledge of Arabic or French. German language skills are not required.
- How does the promotion, production and contestation of solar energy in the MENA (re-)shape authoritarian practices? The project’s key objective is to develop an empirically grounded and theoretically informed understanding of the political economy of solar energy in the MENA (focusing on Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan). It seeks to explore the conditions under which the expansion of solar energy challenges or renews authoritarian power. The effects of solar energy are understood as mediated via technological choices, associated infrastructures, modes of financing, and forms of knowledge production. It is assumed that solar energy can offer a possibility for a more democratic, inclusive and independent (energy) politics, but can also be used to replicate existing dependencies and exclusionary, centralized and authoritarian practices.
The successful candidates are free to independently shape the precise focus of their PhD projects, while ensuring a clear connection to the research group’s overall topic. Candidates are expected to pursue a qualitative approach based on extensive field research. While all PhD positions have a clear focus country, PhD projects should adequately consider transnational connections and may also include shorter field research stays in countries other than the focus country. Possible themes to be explored include, but are not limited to:
- technopolitics of energy transition
- spatial re-articulations of authoritarian power
- politics from below and new forms of mobilization
- the reshaping of colonial continuities
- visions of energy democracy
- commodification and marketization of renewable energies
- infrastructural politics, forms of containment, and selective (energy) connectivities
- energy politics and gender roles
- Salary level 65% TVL E 13 (approximately € 1,800 per month after taxes, health insurance contributions and social security contributions)
- Research-only positions with no teaching or administrative obligations
- Funding for German and/or Arabic language courses if needed
- Additional travel and maintenance allowances during field research
- Dynamic research group with in total three doctoral researchers, group leader, student assistant and international partners in the MENA, US and UK
- Vibrant research institute focusing on questions of power transformations, state institutions and societal conflicts in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East
We are strongly interested in building a diverse and interdisciplinary team and are particularly pleased to receive applications from women, students from the Global South, and native speakers of Arabic.
Applications should be sent to benjamin.schuetze [at] abi.uni-freiburg.de (benjamin.schuetze[at]abi.uni-freiburg.de) by November 6, 2022 (as one single PDF file), and should include the following:
- Motivation letter (1-2 pages)
- CV, including names and contact details of two referees
- Copies of university degrees (BA and MA)
- Work sample (MA thesis chapter, published article, or similar)
- PhD project outline (2-3 pages)
For more information please contact Dr. Benjamin Schuetze, via telephone (+49-(0)761-88878-30) or e-mail (benjamin.schuetze [at] abi.uni-freiburg.de (benjamin.schuetze[at]abi.uni-freiburg.de)).