Doctoral Scholarships - Research Groups Sociology of Law, Democracy and Statehood and Macro-Violence

Страна: Германия;

Дедлайн: 01.10.2019



The Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS) offers up to seven fellowships for doctoral projects that can be assigned to one of three HIS research groups: the Research Group on the Sociology of Law (in cooperation with the Chair for Sociology of Law at the University of Bern) (3 scholarships), the Research Group on Democracy and Statehood (2 scholarships), or the Research Group on Macro-Violence (2 fellowships). Particularly welcome are proposals for doctoral projects that are concerned with government practices, legal consciousness and resistance at the margins of the state, and are – while based in the fields of sociology, history, political science, law or ethnology – seeking an interdisciplinary context for discussion.

The HIS is a private research institution where researchers from various disciplines engage with socio-politically and historically relevant issues. The doctoral scholarships contribute to an expansion and sharpening of existing theoretical and empirical research at the HIS. We particularly welcome projects that critically examine concepts, practices and history of the state and state authority, the negotiation of the rule of law and domination, as well as protest movements and phenomena of violence. This explicitly includes studies focusing both on the Global South and on the transatlantic "West". In terms of theory, current research at the HIS is guided by, for example, action-related theories of domination, the "practical turn" in political science and sociology, current sociological research on violence, ethnographic studies of "law in action" or debates in political anthropology. The institute offers a constructive atmosphere for research and discussion with regular joint events (such as talks, workshops, colloquia) and provides funding opportunities for publications.

Successful applicants are characterized by innovative approaches, focus on under-researched topics and/or examine well-researched empirical phenomena with new theoretical approaches. Applicants are invited to conceptually locate their projects in one or more of the research groups.

Research Group Sociology of Law: "Practices, Negotiations and Fantasies of Law" (3 Doctoral Scholarships)

This newly founded research group led by Prof. Dr. Tobias Eule, Professor for Sociology of Law at the University of Bern, will provide a space in which practices and ideas of law can be critically analyzed in order to shed light on complex social phenomena. The aim is not to examine law for its own sake, but to use it as a “lens” to illuminate sociological questions. Research projects that examine macrostructural and theoretical issues empirically will receive preferential funding. One advantage of applying the "lens" law to social phenomena in this context is the evocative representation of complexity, and thus challenging of simplified assumptions. Socio-legal research can reveal key actors, mechanisms and ideas that would otherwise remain underexposed - as has already happened in research on street level policy implementation negotiations, on the regulation of financial markets or on the role of informality in migration control.
In terms of content, projects focusing on topics such as supposedly "lawless" and "deregulated" spaces in global capitalism, on the "leveraging" of the state in permanent states of emergency, on asymmetric negotiations of rule and resistance by people in precarious life situations, on the digitization of legal practices and legal fields, or on social or ideological histories of law are possible.

Typically, the scholarship holders are (co-)supervised by Prof. Dr. Tobias Eule. In Bern, enrolment opportunities are available in both the Social Sciences and Law.
Further information on the research group “Sociology of Law” can be found here.

Research Group Democracy and Statehood: "Practices and Ideas of Statehood" (2 Doctoral Scholarships)

The research group Democracy and Statehood investigates the history of ruling techniques, patterns of legitimation and forms of protest in which statehood is claimed or addressed. Instead of focusing on the functions and services of state institutions, our primary concern is with the actors, their conflicts and strategies for action. Ideas and practices in which statehood is constituted, produced or questioned are of central importance for the central research perspective. The individual projects already underway concentrate on the southern fringes of Europe and on the Global South in the 20th and 21st centuries, and aim to re-address traditional ideas of the modern, consolidated, democratic state by accessing them from the so-called periphery. The focus is on questions of legal history in the transition from authoritarian regimes to democracy, on politico-economic questions in the development of planning statehood, on the emergence of modern fiscal regimes, and on political protest in the context of Europeanization and the globalization of statehood.
Particularly welcome are applications for projects that match the group’s profile or complement or expand the leading perspective geographically, thematically and theoretically. Projects characterized by a historical, ethnological and/or sociological perspective and their reference - comparatively and/or transfer-historically - to the Southern European region or connections to the Global South, are preferred.
Further information on the research group can be found here.

Research Group Macro-Violence: "Violence in its Social Context" / "Protest and Violence" (2 doctoral fellowships)

In the research group Macro-Violence, social scientists from various disciplines deal with politically and socially particularly relevant phenomena of violence. These include sexual violence, violence in the context of protest events and state power as well as civil wars. The group combines a common interest in methodological and conceptual questions, in particular questions of the order of violence, its situational dynamics and processuality as well as the possibilities and limits of explanation.
Particularly welcome are projects analysing social transformations, phenomena of power or cultural patterns of interpretation in view of phenomena of violence. One of the planned scholarships should focus on the connection between violence, political order and protest. This scholarship is part of a cooperation-project concerned with the connection between protest and violence, carried out by the research group Macro-Violence within the framework of collaboration with the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS) in Florence.

The second scholarship is more open in terms of topics; here, the research group is very interested in innovative and problem-oriented proposals that critically deal with relevant states of research.
Further information on the research group Macro-Violence can be found here.

The doctoral projects of holders of scholarships in the research group on Democracy and Statehood and in the Research Group on Macro-Violence can be supervised at one of the HIS’ various partner institutions. The colleagues who are already holding a doctoral degree or who have completed their habilitation are more than happy to assist you in finding the right solution for your particular project. In addition, it is possible to acquire ECTS credits through lectures, workshops or colloquia organised in cooperation with i.a. the SNS in Florence, the University of Bern or the Leuphana University Lüneburg, as well as through internal colloquia.

The scholarships carry a monthly stipend of 1,400 Euro. This is a base amount. Scholarship recipients will receive supplements for one or more children and may be eligible for further supplements. Detailed information can be found here. The scholarships will be awarded for two years with an option for an extension of up to two further years.

Scholarship-financed research projects at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research come with an additional budget for travel, books, and other research-related expenses that are appropriate to the requirements of the respective project. A workplace will be provided, and regular presence at the Institute is expected for the duration of the scholarship.

The HIS offers a constructive and supportive working atmosphere, binding supervision of the doctoral project (if desired) and support in writing and publishing of scientific texts. The archive at the HIS houses a growing collection of materials on various topics in contemporary history, with a special focus on protest movements. It thus provides access to a plentiful range of research materials.

Applicants must have an above-average master's degree in sociology, anthropology, history, cultural studies, political science, law or a related subject.

The following application documents – in either German or English, both are equally welcome - must be submitted in a bundled PDF document by e-mail to

•    a cover letter,
•    a curriculum vitae,
•    an academic work sample (master thesis, term paper),
•    a transcript of records or equivalent certificate with individual grade overview for all courses completed and
•    an outline of the proposed doctoral project (3 to 4 pages).

The closing date for applications is 01.10.2019. Funding will begin on 01.12.2019 at the earliest.

If you have any questions regarding the content, please do not hesitate to contact us at the e-mail address provided above.


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