Postdoctoral fellow: EU Differentiation, Dominance and Democracy (EU3D)

Updated: 10 months ago
Deadline: 05 Aug 2019

Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen

‘EU Differentiation, Dominance and Democracy’ (EU3D) - - is a new research project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. Directed from the University of Oslo, the project involves a consortium of ten institutions across Europe, among them the University of Copenhagen (UCPH). The Department of Political Science at UCPH which co-directs EU3D Work Package 2 - ‘Problematic forms of EU internal differentiation’, has a project vacancy for a two-year Postdoctoral researcher starting on 1 February 2020.

The many crises and challenges that the EU has faced over the last decade have exposed the EU’s vulnerability to volatile markets, an increasingly unpredictable global geopolitical scene, and increased domestic opposition. EU3D focuses on differentiation, which is not tied to any specific direction of change but encompasses both integration and disintegration. All modern political systems are differentiated; the EU distinctly so. The problem is that the EU that emerged from the financial and refugee crises is associated with less democracy and more dominance. EU3D understands dominance as arbitrary rule. Dominance can be an unintended consequence of action. EU3D sets out to specify the conditions under which differentiation is politically acceptable, institutionally sustainable, and democratically legitimate. Equally important, EU3D specifies the conditions under which it is not, in other words when conditions of dominance prevail.

Work package 2 (WP2) of EU3D is concerned with the identification and assessment of those forms of EU differentiation that are most closely associated with dominance. WP2’s research will seek to understand the sources of these forms of differentiation and place them into historical context. To that end, WP2 provides a diagnosis of the present post-crisis situation landscape of internal differentiation in the EU, and assess which of these forms is most closely associated with dominance. WP2 is particularly interested in teasing out the extent to which crises (especially the Eurozone crisis and the refugee crises) have acted as ‘external differentiating shocks and/or the extent to which current types of differentiation have pre-crisis roots.

More specifically, the successful applicant will be expected to work on the question of whether external shocks to the EU system have been generative of new forms of dominance within the EU, or whether recent crises have amplified aspects of illicit hierarchy within the EU structure. Of particular interest here are the role and sources of non-majoritarian forms of decision-making, their relationship to recent crises and/or their roots within European integration more broadly. The work will involve the analysis of a range of textual and interview sources. The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to the organization of a workshop in mid-2020. He or she will co-edit a special issue of the resulting papers and be expected to contribute peer-reviewed journal articles in key areas of WP2. He or she will also contribute to the wider work of EU3D, including participation in relevant workshops and conferences.

The position is aimed at applicants who have obtained their PhD in political science or a related field.

The applicants should have proven research experience and academic publications in political science and/or cognate fields or. Furthermore, the applicants should have demonstrable expertise in one or several of the following areas:

  • Comparative and/or international political economy, with an interest in the history of ideas and their institutional expression
  • EU studies, including the history and theory of European integration, EU institutions and governance
  • Qualitative (and, where relevant, quantitative) methods as applied to this project

Considerable weight will be accorded to the ability to conduct independent research, scientific excellence, critical and creative thinking as well as the ability to work across sub-fields and disciplines and be a genuine team-player.

Experience of teaching and active participation in the international research community, such as organizing workshops, seminars and academic conferences is seen as a merit.

The Postdoctoral fellow is expected to:

  • Engage in and participate actively in the development of EU3D and in particular the academic activities associated with WP2, including collaborate in refining the project design and methodology and further developing the theoretical framework
  • Collect, code and analyze relevant empirical material (e.g. observations, interviews, official documents, other qualitative data).
  • Conduct field research in Brussels and selected European capitals (travel money covered by the project)
  • Prepare and participate in joint publications and workshops and help make an impact on the scholarly and public debate on the puzzles of differentiation, dominance and democracy
  • Contribute to and benefit from the flourishing intellectual life of the Centre for European Politics and other relevant groups within the department and to the Department of Political Science more broadly
  • Carry out administrative and coordination duties associated with the project, including interim reporting to the European Commission
  • Teach and supervise students at the department

Please click on the “Apply now” icon at the bottom of the page.

The application must be written in English and should contain a CV, a short motivation letter (maximum 2 pages), a list of publications, a maximum number of three scientific works, of which only one may be a monograph or compilation thesis and a copy of the doctoral certificate.

Application procedure
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, applicants are selected for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. All applicants are then immediately notified whether an expert assessment committee has passed their application for assessment. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee and each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant him/herself. You can read about the recruitment process at

Further information about the application procedure is available from Lotte Strandberg (HR) please refer to ID number 211-0122/19-2I

Salary and conditions of employment
Salary and conditions of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The annual salary for postdoctoral researchers is within the range DKR 408.000 – 430,000 (EUR 54,600 – 57,500 app.). In addition to the salary paid directly to you, the University will also pay a monthly contribution to your pension fund corresponding to 17.1 % of your salary. Negotiation for additional supplements will be possible. A special tax scheme is offered for researchers recruited abroad, see

The Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) have further agreed on a protocol that makes it possible for international researchers employed by the University to achieve a pension exemption, whereby the pension contribution will be paid out as salary. For more information about the different pension schemes, please see

If you consider applying from abroad, you may find useful information on how it is to work in Denmark and at UCPH. See: ,  and

UCPH wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Ben Rosamond

The closing date for applications is 5 August 2019, 23.59 CET

Applications or supplementary material received thereafter will not be considered.

The Department of Political Science is a top-ranked European political science department, which offers a vibrant and collegial working environment for ambitious scholars. It is placed on an attractive, historic campus in central Copenhagen – a city, which is continuously voted as one of the most liveable European capitals. The Department has 1,800 students in its BSc and MSc programmes in Political Science, 200 in the BSc and MSc programmes in Social Studies and 100 in the MSc programme in Security Risk Management. Furthermore, the department annually welcomes approximately 200 exchange and guest students from abroad. The Department is also actively participating in developing a new MSc programme in social data science. The Department consists of 76 faculty, 41 PhD students, and 20 administrative staff members. See more on the Department’s strategy on our webpage . For more on the Department’s study programmes, see here:

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

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