PhD Candidate in Political Science

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 30 May 2021

The Department of Political Science at the Nijmegen School of Management (Radboud University) invites applications for a PhD Candidate position on the research project REDRESS: Revitalised Democracy for Resilient Societies, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) as part of the National Research Agenda’s route ‘Towards Resilient Societies’ (for the full research proposal please contact Prof. van Ham). The REDRESS project investigates how hybrid democratic innovations can strengthen representative democracy. Hybrid democratic innovations combine instruments of plebiscitary democracy (e.g. referendums) with deliberative democracy (e.g. citizen assemblies). The REDRESS project combines international comparative research with learning from experiences with democratic innovations in the Netherlands. 

As a PhD candidate you will be part of a collaboration between four universities and several societal partners. The research consortium comprises several governmental and societal organisations (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, ProDemos, Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), Rathenau Institute, The Broker, LSA Bewoners, Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR)) and five research institutions: Radboud University, Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), Tilburg University (coordinator; principal investigator: Prof. Frank Hendriks), University of Twente, and Utrecht University. You will be collaborating with three other PhD candidates and two postdoctoral researchers based at the partner universities.

You will be working on work package 4, 'The effects of participation in hybrid democratic innovations: experimental tests'. The main objective of this work package is to better understand how participating in different types of democratic innovations may affect citizens' trust and perceived responsiveness of the political system and its actors. This part of the research project will focus on experimental tests of the effects, both in a lab setting (to maximise the control over treatment and context) and in the form of survey experiments (to allow for randomised assignment of the treatment to reduce omitted variable bias). Furthermore, qualitative methods (focus groups and interviews) will allow to dig deeper into the causal mechanisms underlying the patterns observed in the experiments. The project will investigate both the effects of different designs of democratic innovations and the effects of individual differences between citizens. To benefit from their expertise with survey and qualitative methods, you will be positioned part-time at SCP. At Radboud University, you will be supervised by Prof. Carolien van Ham (PhD supervisor) and Dr Kristof Jacobs (daily supervisor).

You will be part of a collegial team at the Department of Public Administration and Political Science and enrol in the PhD programme at the Institute for Management Research (IMR).

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