PhD Positions (m/f/d) | Law and Anthropology

  • 28 Nov 2022 16:16
    Message # 13005126
    Susana Arrese (Administrator)

    the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is a leading centre for research in social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality.

    The Law & Anthropology Department invites applications for PhD Positions (m/f/d).


    The Law & Anthropology Department offers a stimulating interdisciplinary forum where both anthropologists and legal scholars can engage with one another and conduct cutting-edge, policy- relevant research linked to the intensification of exchanges and encounters among and between societies, communities, and cultures in today’s world. With this comes a growing demand for empirically grounded (ethnographic) knowledge and its translation into normative thinking at various levels of decision-making. The Department prioritizes research proposals that address this demand for translation in the increasingly plural European context, combined with, where relevant, research settings elsewhere (multi-sited ethnography). Illustrations of suitable research areas and topics include, inter alia: diversity under state law; conflicts and tensions between religious and secular state law; transnational communities and their need for adequate legal protections; international migration and private international law; alternative approaches to justice; the challenges and constraints to legal professionals in a plural society; cultural heritage and protection of minority claims; memory and justice.

    Your profile


    1. an academic degree (master or equivalent) in law or social / cultural anthropology in hand at the time of taking up the position (1 February 2023), with outstanding results;
    2. evidence of serious interest in law and anthropology;
    3. willingness to conduct empirical field research (this may require familiarity with relevant legal practice);
    4. very good command of written and spoken English;
    5. evidence of proficiency in the languages that are necessary for the aims of the research project.

    Successful applicants will contribute to the development of the Department’s research agenda as detailed above, giving due attention to issues of applied and comparative knowledge. They are encouraged to work in interdisciplinary collaboration with the other colleagues in the Department, and should therefore have an intrinsic interest in interdisciplinary and team work. To researchers who would be interested and whose doctoral research lends itself to doing so, the Department offers the opportunity to contribute to the CUREDI project, a collaborative database and digital repository of case law analysis having to do with how and to what extent cultural and religious diversity is granted legal recognition in various Europe countries.

    Our offer

    Positions are to start on 1 February 2023. They are awarded for three years, with the possibility of two six-month extensions (pending a positive evaluation). Employment will be on a full-time contractual basis. The workplace is Halle/Saale, a dynamic, historical town in central Germany (Sachsen-Anhalt) that is home to numerous renowned universities and scientific institutions. Our modern campus is in a quiet, picturesque neighbourhood near the centre of town. Please note that the Max Planck Institutes do not award doctoral degrees. Doctoral students must therefore enroll at a university in or outside Germany. The choice of university will be agreed jointly by the successful applicant and the Director of the Department of Law & Anthropology. The Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in science; we thus explicitly encourage applications from female researchers. Individuals with disabilities will be given priority, assuming equal qualifications.

    Contact and application procedure

    Please submit your application electronically by 30 November 2022 by following the link for vacancies on our homepage. Interviews with shortlisted applicants will be held in December 2022.

    Applicants are asked to submit the following materials:

    • cover letter;
    • curriculum vitae, including a formal record of university courses and degree credentials and list of publications (if any);
    • a succinct description (3 to 5 pages) of the doctoral project the applicant intends to pursue;
    • two letters of recommendation from professors, teachers, or professional supervisors who are well acquainted with the work of the applicant (letters should be sent directly to the Department at marencakova@eth.mpg.de)

    Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to Prof. Marie-Claire Foblets (foblets@eth.mpg.de).

    If you have further questions regarding the application procedure, please contact: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Personnel Administration Carolin Klevenow (klevenow@eth.mpg.de)

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