Postdoc Position in Philosophy (The Netherlands) Deadline: April 8, 2019

Ethics Institute, Utrecht University

Application Deadline

April 08, 2019

Program Commencement

September 01, 2019

Duration of the Program

2 Years

Follow us for a weekly update on more such calls:

Program Details

Established in 1636, Utrecht University is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands. The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies plays an active role in several university-wide, national, and international research and educational consortiums — in addition to housing the university’s Ethics Institute.

The postdoc position in Philosophy on a project about “Wealth, Inequality and Democracy” is 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, and uncertainty about the capabilities of states to manage the economy and large inequalities in wealth.

Within this research project, the specific subproject for this postdoc position is meant to address the questions (1) whether wealth inequalities form a threat to legitimate democratic processes; if so (2) what – if anything – can be done to counter this threat; (3) how the analysis of the previous two questions reflects on the validity of (classical/contemporary) philosophical theories of property. In answering these questions, the subproject:

  • can take a specific theoretical approach to this topic (e.g. liberal, egalitarian, libertarian, republican, Marxist, democratic theory-oriented, etc.) or a mix of approaches. 
  • can focus on an analysis of one particular aspect of the wealth-democracy nexus (e.g. lobbying, campaign finance, tax evasion, international trade and investment, constitutional design, property-owning democracy, etc.) or take a more general approach.
  • can be more historically oriented (e.g. philosophical theories of how to deal with ‘oligarchy’ since Aristotle), or more systematically oriented. (e.g. a focus on normatively evaluating concrete proposals of legal regulation).    

The selected candidate will work under the supervision of the program leader Rutger Claassen. S/he will be part of a research team consisting of one other postdoc and a PhD-candidate and will play an active role in the research team, organize and take part in workshops, public events and other activities. The position 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.

More information, here.

The full-time position (1.0 FTE), is initially for a period of 12 months. Upon good performance, the contract will be extended for another 12 months (two years in total). The starting salary ranges between €3,389 and €3,637 (gross monthly salary on a fulltime basis depending on experience and qualifications (salary scale 10)). Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and terms of employment. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities. More information: working at Utrecht University.

Eligibility/ Requirements

Please send in your application, if:

  • You have completed a PhD in Philosophy or in a related field.
  • 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. Additional knowledge in a field relevant to the project (especially: law, economics, political science) is welcome.
  • 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.

Application Process

Apply ONLINE here.

Applicants should upload three documents:

  1. a one-page letter of motivation stating why you think you are fit for the position; followed by a one-page research note, setting out your specific ideas about how to work out the subproject.
  2. a curriculum vitae of maximum 2 pages, including at the end the names and contact details of two scholars who can be contacted for a reference.
  3. one representative writing sample of maximum 20 pages.

Interviews are scheduled for 25 April. 

For further information, please contact Dr. Rutger Claassen, project leader. E-mail:


Mention that you found this call on The Insightist Berlin.


Follow us for a weekly update on more such calls:

If You Know Someone Who Will Benefit From This Call, Share This From Here!