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Freie Uni­ver­si­tät Ber­lin - Cluster of Excel­lence "Con­test­a­tions of the Lib­eral Script" (SCRIPTS)

Research assist­ant (Postdoc) (m/f/d)

Full-time job
Lim­ited to 1 year
Ent­gelt­gruppe 13 TV-L FU
Ref­er­ence code: SCRIPTS Afrika PostDoc

Work­ing field:

In African soci­et­ies, as in all world regions, vari­ous con­cepts of order col­lide and dif­fer­ent scripts com­pete with each other. The post-doc pos­i­tion will be based at the newly estab­lished W-3 pro­fess­or­ship “Con­tem­por­ary Polit­ics and Soci­et­ies in Africa” at the Otto Suhr Insti­tute of Freie Uni­versität Ber­lin. In their research and teach­ing, they will be explor­ing par­al­lel and com­pet­ing con­cepts of order and scripts in con­tem­por­ary African soci­et­ies on mul­tiple scales (local, national, transna­tional), and related dynam­ics of social trans­form­a­tion and polit­ical author­ity.

The Africa pro­fess­or­ship and the asso­ci­ated aca­demic pos­i­tions will be closely linked to the Cluster of Excel­lence "Con­test­a­tions of the Lib­eral Script" (SCRIPTS, ). The estab­lish­ment of an Africa research area is an abso­lute pri­or­ity for the cluster and also for the Depart­ment of Polit­ical and Social Sci­ences. An essen­tial struc­tural fea­ture of the Cluster of Excel­lence SCRIPTS is the con­nec­tion between com­par­at­ive social sci­ences and regional stud­ies, with spe­cial emphasis on trans­lo­cal, transna­tional and trans­re­g­ional inter­de­pend­en­cies. These and the cent­ral research ques­tions relat­ing to the status of the lib­eral model of order with a global claim sug­gest a world­wide area of invest­ig­a­tion. It is the declared aim of the Cluster Ini­ti­at­ive to invest­ig­ate the chal­lenge of the lib­eral script in all major world regions.

Job descrip­tion:
  • Par­ti­cip­ate in Cluster
  • research on cur­rent debates about chan­ging norms and gov­ernance between the poles of global and local crises, region­ally focused on Africa
  • Act­ive fur­ther devel­op­ment of cur­rent debates (e.g. on author­it­arian pop­u­lism, re-tra­di­tion­al­isa­tion, post­co­lo­ni­al­ism) from an Africa-focused per­spect­ive
  • Devel­op­ment of an inde­pend­ent research pro­ject within the them­atic frame­work of the cluster with empir­ical focus on Africa


Suc­cess­fully com­pleted doc­tor­ate in a social sci­ence sub­ject (polit­ical sci­ence, inter­na­tional rela­tions, regional stud­ies or sim­ilar)

  • Good know­ledge in the field of research of the cluster, espe­cially in cur­rent debates on the change of norms and gov­ernance in the field of ten­sion of global-local crises, author­it­arian pop­u­lism, re-tra­di­tion­al­isa­tion and post­co­lo­ni­al­ism

  • Exper­i­ence in inde­pend­ently con­duct­ing research in sub-Saha­ran Africa
  • Good know­ledge of empir­ical research meth­ods

  • Exper­i­ence in man­aging research pro­jects
  • Exper­i­ence in inde­pend­ently run­ning uni­versity courses
  • Very good writ­ten and oral lan­guage skills in Eng­lish and at least one other lan­guage rel­ev­ant to the African con­tin­ent
  • Com­mu­nic­a­tion and team skills, inter­cul­tural and gender aware­ness

For fur­ther inform­a­tion, please con­tact Mrs. Prof. Dr. Bet­tina Engels ( / 030 838 70989 ).

How to ap­ply:

All applic­a­tions (includ­ing a short cover let­ter out­lining your back­ground, a detailed CV includ­ing pos­sibly some ref­er­ences, and all rel­ev­ant cer­ti­fic­ates) quot­ing the ref­er­ence code should be dir­ec­ted no later than Feb­ru­ary 1st, 2021 prefer­ably elec­tron­ic­ally in one PDF-file to: Mrs. Prof. Dr. Bet­tina Engels: or postal to

Freie Uni­versität Ber­lin
Fachbereich Politik- und Sozi­al­wis­senschaften
Otto-Suhr-Insti­tut für Politikwis­senschaft
Exzel­len­zcluster "Con­test­a­tions of the Lib­eral Script" (SCRIPTS)
Mrs. Prof. Dr. Bet­tina Engels
Ihnestr. 22
14195 Ber­lin (Dah­lem)

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Freie Uni­versität Ber­lin is an equal oppor­tun­ity employer.