These positions are part of a Free Competition project granted by the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO). The project investigates the link between private property and political power in liberal-democratic societies. The idea of property has always played an important role in political philosophy, in explaining and legitimizing the exercise of political authority. However, the exercise of property rights can also undermine political authority, by rivalling the power and functions of public organizations. This project aims to understand these linkages between property and legitimate political power, both against the historical background of the social contract tradition, and in the contemporary economic landscape marked by globalization, uncertainty about the capabilities of states to manage the economy and large inequalities in wealth. The subprojects focus on three distinct forms of private property (held by corporations, collectives, and individuals) to create a new theory of property-power relations which is able to evaluate claims to political legitimacy.
You will work under the supervision of the program leader, Rutger Claassen. You will be part of a research team consisting of two PhD-candidates and one postdoctoral researcher. You will play an active role in the research team, organize and take part in workshops, public events and other activities. You will be based at the Ethics Institute, which is part of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies of Utrecht University, which provides a stimulating and internationally oriented research environment.
• For the postdoc position: You have completed a PhD in philosophy or in a related field; or a PhD dissertation in one of these fields already accepted by the PhD Committee. Additional knowledge in a field relevant to the project (especially: law, economics, political science) is welcome.
• For the PhD positions: You have completed a Master in philosophy or in a related field. Additional knowledge in a field relevant to the project (especially: law, economics, political science) is welcome.
• You are specialised in ethics and/or political philosophy, for example in the field of political authority/legitimacy, theories of rights, democratic theory and/or theories of justice.
• You have an excellent track record and research skills, relative to experience; and excellent academic writing and presentation skills.
• You have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
• You have an active interest in interdisciplinary work which connects philosophical analysis to other relevant disciplines and societal challenges.
The application deadline is 20/03/2017. Interviews are scheduled for 12 and 13 April. Employment will become effective by 1 September 2017.
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