Senior Researcher Afghanistan project the National Context - NIOD

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 05 Dec 2022

Senior researcher

The Netherlands' Deployment in Afghanistan (2001-2021): "The National Context"

(Fixed term of 4 years, fulltime, 38 hours per week)

About the research programme

Since December 2001, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has made multiple contributions to international military operations, crisis management measures, humanitarian actions and (re-)construction projects in and around Afghanistan. It has particularly done so through military detachments and deployments - under the banners of operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) -, through the Netherlands embassy in Kabul, and through support to governmental and non-governmental initiatives and assistance programmes. The Netherlands' Council of Ministers commissioned the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD-KNAW ), in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH ), to conduct external, independent and scholarly research into the Netherlands' deployments in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2021.

The research programme aims to investigate and analyse the facts, circumstances and context, and aftermath of this deployment from a broader historical framework, and deals with the nature, scope, costs, time period, and stated objectives of the Netherlands' military, diplomatic and civil deployment, as well as the limitations, dilemmas and choices made in implementations on the ground. The study is organised around three themes: (a) the national and international decision-making processes; (b) the Netherlands' integrated deployment in situ; and (c) the legitimisation of the Netherlands' missions in a broader historical context. The research programme consists of 9 individual scholarly studies on specific themes, including 5 military mission-related studies, and will conclude with a synthesising final report, which will be presented to the Netherlands' Government and Parliament.

About the position

The NIOD-KNAW is currently recruiting an experienced senior researcher to complete the team. The newly recruited senior researcher will set up, carry out and finalise one individual study within the research programme, in close cooperation with the scientific project leaders, the other senior researchers and the research assistants.

In broad preliminary terms, the newly recruited senior researcher is to conduct a study that should consider the National Context of the Netherlands' deployments in Afghanistan in the long-term perspective, and in broader historical context. This study concerns - among other things - (1) the historically evolved Netherlands' view on, among others, war, peace and security, humanitarian crises and intervention, development cooperation, (re)construction, democratisation processes, and human rights and justice, (2) the Netherlands' self-image and foreign image of the Dutch, and (3) the actual Netherlands' action on post-war international issues. Part of this study includes an empirical case study on the diplomatic and state-building activities of the Netherlands' embassy in Kabul.

The newly recruited senior researcher is expected to partake in the final determination of the research questions/direction, sources and methodology, and research plan. The newly recruited senior researcher will work with a research assistant.


  • The NIOD-KNAW is looking for a senior researcher with demonstrable qualifications, experience, capacities and ambitions;
  • The newly recruited senior researcher will become part of the Research Department of the NIOD and will closely cooperate with the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH);
  • The newly recruited senior researcher answers directly to the programme manager and scientific project leaders;
  • The newly recruited senior researcher is expected to be an excellent and sociable team player, and to substantively partake in the entire collaborative Research Project/Inquiry and contribute to the final report;
  • The newly recruited senior researcher is furthermore expected to be able to act as a leader within their individual study, in terms of setting up, planning, carrying out and finalising the scholarly research, and supervision of research assistants.


The NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD-KNAW ) was founded on 8 May 1945 to map the history of the Second World War in the Netherlands and the Netherlands' East Indies through independent scholarly and societal research. In recent decades, this expertise has been extended to research into mass violence and genocides in Europe and elsewhere in the world. NIOD-KNAW is a scientifically independent and at the same time strongly socially oriented institute. In the past, the NIOD-KNAW has carried out commissioned research on the Fall of Srebrenica in 1995 and more recently on Indonesia's War of Independence between 1945 and 1950. It is one of the 15 institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW ).


  • Your application consists of: (1) a motivation letter and curriculum vitae; (2) a brief research proposal (maximum 1 A4); and (3) a comprehensive and updated list of publications. For more information about the vacancy, please contact Thijs Bouwknegt
  • The interviews will take place mid December.
  • You can apply via the button on this page latest at 5 December.

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