PhD Candidate: Synergising Sustainability

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 12 Dec 2022

How are policies for agricultural and rural development negotiated and implemented in conflict-affected countries in the Sahel? How do such sensitive contexts influence the policy formulation and implementation process? The interactive research project 'Synergising Sustainability' studies the 'social life' of policies for agricultural development, analysing the process of policy-making and implementation at different levels, in both Europe and in countries in the Sahel. We are particularly interested in how development goals for boosting food production, employment creation, and climate-change action interact with ambitions for enhancing governance, equity and justice, and sustainable peace.

To study this, the project focuses on the complex interactions and contestations between diverse stakeholders at different levels in the policy making process (e.g. EU, bilateral donors, national ministries, civil society, farmers’ associations, private sector), including the politics and power of discourses on notions like 'agricultural sustainability' and 'peace'. By focusing on conflict-affected countries in the Sahel, this research project will improve our understanding of how policy-making processes for agricultural sustainability and peace result in synergies, as well as frictions, contradictions, and trade-offs. The study involves mainly qualitative research methods with extensive fieldwork in sensitive contexts in the Sahel. You will study stakeholder interactions, policy-making, negotiations, and the implementation of rural development programmes in the region.

'Synergizing Sustainability' is a collaborative research project involving scholars from three departments of the Radboud Institute for Management Research (Conflict Studies, Environmental Governance, and International Relations), and is mainly carried out by a postdoctoral researcher and you. The postdoctoral researcher focuses on the policy processes unfolding mainly in Europe, while you will study the related processes at national level, in the Sahel region. You will collaborate with the postdoctoral researcher to integrate insights and data from the respective fields.

As a PhD candidate, you will collect qualitative data mainly through fieldwork in the Sahel region, and you will use the results to write your PhD thesis. If you have experience in conducting fieldwork in the Sahel region and feel comfortable with spending extensive research time in conflict-affected contexts, we strongly encourage you to apply.

The position is for 4 years and involves mainly PhD research, and about 5% teaching. In this position you will be trained to become an academic researcher while working on your own PhD project under the supervision of Prof. Mathijs van Leeuwen, Dr Haley Swedlund, Dr Gerry van der Kamp-Alons, and Dr Maria Kaufmann. For parts of the research, you will work in close collaboration with the postdoctoral researcher (Dr Maya Turolla).

You will be part of the teams of both the Department of Political Science and the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, and a member of the Doctoral School of the Institute for Management Research (IMR).


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