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Job offer: doctoral researcher in DFG-funded project "Participation and Inequality" (Prof. Dr. Christian Volk)

Research project: “Participation and inequality ‘beyond the state’. An explorative study on the opportunities for participation of transnational civil society actors based on the example of institutions of global economic governance”; Application deadline March 11, 2019.

News from Feb 12, 2019

Job Offer (View PDF)

Doctoral Researcher
Limited to 3 years (project duration)
German pay scale 13 TV-L FU, 65% part-time job

Application deadline: March 11, 2019


Research project: “Participation and inequality ‘beyond the state’. An explorative study on the opportunities for participation of transnational civil society actors based on the example of institutions of global economic governance”

The project “Participation and Inequality” receives funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and seeks to analyze the interrelation between political participation and inequality in the context of institutions of "global economic governance". Its point of departure is the observation that World Economic Organizations have established so-called dialogue fora as a reaction to counter the accusation of their lack of legitimacy, which has become more and more prominent since the 90s. These fora combine institutionalized participatory possibilities differentiated by status with participation situationally granted by agents of rule. Empirical evidence suggests that they cement and reinforce inequality in at least two ways: First, they involve a thematic preselection, which excludes radical critics of the existing order (political inequality and relational inequality) and thus determines the preconditions of political debate. Second, the main participants of these fora are civil-society actors from Western industrialized countries (socio-economic and political inequality). Against this background, the goal of the research project is to analyze the interrelation between controlled participation within and by means of dialogue fora and the persistence of structures of inequality. Do the disparate chances of participation for civil-society actors resulting from their difference in status and socio-economic inequality reinforce an unfavorable configuration of the political thematic field or can these controlled forms of participation break up structures of inequality? Does the participation of actors with alternative perspectives result in the emergence of unexpected discursive dynamics? Another goal of the research project is the reconstruction and critical analysis of the existing conceptualizations of (transnational) democracy, or rather, of democratic legitimacy, that instruct and inspire reform efforts in general and the dialogue fora in particular. Thus, the project also contributes to the debate on the prospects, challenges, and limits of transnational democratization.


Job Description

The doctoral candidate will work closely with the director of the research project, Prof. Dr. Christian Volk (Professor of Political Science at the Centre for Politics and Law) and a student assistant assigned to the project. Concrete tasks involve the active participation in the research project with the possibility to complete a PhD; supporting the concretization of the project design and methodology as well as further developing its theoretical frame of analysis; preparing and collaborating in joint publications; assisting the preparation of workshops; participation in conferences; working on the (sub)goals of the project within the given timeframes; administrative and coordinating tasks; preparing interim reports for the sponsoring institution.



Completed graduate degree (German Diploma, Master, or equivalent degree) in the fields of Humanities/ Social Sciences (preferably Political Science).



Excellent university transcript; verifiable skills in the field of Qualitative Social Research; sound knowledge of Democratic Theory and interest in questions related to Political Theory; organizational talent and ability to work independently; readiness to work in a team and ability to discuss diverging standpoints productively; excellent command of English (spoken and written; other language skills e.g. in French, Arabic, Spanish advantageous); international outlook; one letter of recommendation (referees are asked to send the letter directly to the address listed below).


Please send your application and comprehensive documents, addressing Prof. Dr. Christian Volk and listing the reference code “PU-WiMi-2019”, in one PDF file to: sekretariat-polre@polsoz.fu-berlin.de or by mail to:

Freie Universität Berlin
Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften
Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft
Prof. Dr. Christian Volk
Ihnestr. 22
14195 Berlin


Please note that by submitting an online application, you agree to the electronic processing and storage of your personal data. We inform you that the Freie Universität Berlin cannot provide assurance for the safety of submitted personal data in case of an insecure electronic transfer of your application.