Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the topic “External Actors and African Agency in Comparative Perspective”


  • The German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) / Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien is an independent Social Science research institute based in Hamburg. It analyses political, social, and economic developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and links this knowledge to questions of global significance. It combines region-specific analysis with innovative comparative research on accountability and participation, peace and security, globalisation and development, and global order and foreign policies. The GIGA seeks to appoint a

    Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    Applications are invited for a full-time position, with an initial contract of three years, with the possibility of another three years after successful evaluation. The applicant should preferably start on 1 September 2022. The position is designed for further professional qualification as defined in § 2 WissZeitVG (Academic Fixed-Term Contract Act). The salary is commensurate with TV-AVH / TVöD EG 13.

    The successful candidate will work on the topic “External Actors and African Agency in Comparative Perspective” and will pursue an independent research agenda, to be briefly specified in the cover letter.

    This research agenda should be clearly situated in GIGA’s Global Approach and Comparative Area Studies (CAS) contributing both to theoretical and empirical knowledge creation, preferably within a broadly understood International Relations perspective. This may include the application both of more traditional (neo)realist or institutionalist but also critical and postcolonial approaches. Empirically, research can encompass both a global perspective on, for instance, Africa’s role and agency in the global system vis-à-vis other regions and their actors; or a comparison of the role of external actors in Africa with other regions like Asia, Latin America, or the Middle East; but also locally or regionally specific phenomena, including the influence of external actors within Africa, e.g., in terms of military interventions, political conditionality, as well as foreign aid, energy, investment, or trade relations. The successful candidate is also expected to actively engage in GIGA’s matrix structure and participate in knowledge exchange and academic services of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs and GIGA’s research programmes, preferably in but not limited to Research Programme 4 on “Global Orders and Foreign Policies”.

    Expected qualifications:

    • excellent PhD in Social Sciences (Political Science, International Relations, Cultural Anthropology, Development Economics, Sociology, or related disciplines)

    • strong theoretical and comparative methodological skills (qualitative and/or quantitative)

    • strong record of research experience in African studies and/or International Relations

    • strong command of the English language; German is an asset but not a prerequisite

    • academic publications, preferably in high-ranking peer-reviewed journals and/or renowned publishing houses

    • readiness to contribute to academic services, especially to co-edit GIGA’s SCCI ranked journal “Africa Spectrum”.

    Desired qualifications:

    • experience with successful fundraising, preferably with competitive funding institutions (e.g., DFG, EU)

    • experience on the ground/ field work in Africa or other regions under investigation at the GIGA

    • experience in coordinating or editing a journal or similar activities.

    We welcome international applications. Part-time options will be considered, if so desired by the successful candidate. Diversity and the reconciliation of work and family life are of great importance to the institute. The GIGA promotes the equality of all genders.

    Please fill out the application form (found at https://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/career/) and send it together with your full application (Ref.-No. GIGA-22-06), including relevant support-ing documentation (cover letter, CV, credentials/diplomas/certificates, names and contact de-tails of two references, list of publications, max. two work samples), as one PDF file (except for the completed GIGA application form) to:

    German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), IAA Secretariat, Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354 Hamburg, Germany Email: jobs-iaa@giga-hamburg.de (email applications are particularly welcome).

    Screening of applications will begin on 1 July 2022. For further information, please visit the GIGA homepage (www.giga-hamburg.de) or contact Dr. Miriam Prys-Hansen (email: miriam.prys@giga-hamburg.de) or Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau (email: matthias.basedau@giga-hamburg.de).

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