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5 Positions for VICI Project ‘The Dialogics of Justice’

3x Ph.D. Candidates
1 fte each, 4 years

1x Post-Doc
0,75 fte or 1 fte (incl. 0,25 fte teaching), 4 years 

1x Project assistant
0,3 – 0,4 fte, 4 years

We invite applications for three Ph.D.’s, one Post-Doc and a project assistant position at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in the context of a VICI project, funded by the Dutch Research Council NWO, and led by dr. Nicole L. Immler on The Dialogics of Justice, an interdisciplinary research into Transitional Justice, recognition and the art of dialogue.

The University of Humanistic Studies is characterized by an institutionalized interdisciplinarity, combining humanities and social science research. Grounded in a humanist tradition, we study ways for optimising the possibilities for people to live a dignified and meaningful life and for promoting a just and caring society.

Project description
Over the last decade, we have witnessed a rising demand for recognition by victims of colonial violence, failed peace missions, sexual abuse and ecocide worldwide. Those recognition claims for suffering are increasingly put in legal terms and then resolved with financial compensation. However, do those procedures provide the recognition and the repair these claimants hope for? There is increasingly concern that such recognition procedures may rather stabilize and naturalize power hierarchies instead of helping to transform them. Via empirical research this project aims to answer the urgent need for more knowledge on making recognition procedures more effective. Therefore the project explores legal recognition claims as broader dialogue processes between multiple parties on micro, meso and macro level to reveal how recognition works as a social, interactive process. Aim is to clarify the social implications of recognition procedures for individuals, communities, and institutions and to understand under what conditions recognition procedures can be transformative.

Project Set-up: This project explores on-going civil court cases in the Netherlands, contrasting distinct claimant groups seeking recognition of injustices within different institutional settings; all cases having a transnational character:

(1) Army: failed peace-mission in Bosnia;
(2) Catholic Church: (sexual) abuse;
(3) Multinational: human rights violations and ecocide in Nigeria.

Each Ph.D. candidate will work on one case study. The Post-Doc will work on all cases studied within the project, pursuing a socio-legal analysis that will help to rethink future reparatory practices.

Profile of the team
This project requires an interdisciplinary team. We are looking for researchers who have a background in Humanities and Social Sciences, who are interdisciplinary trained and are experienced in interdisciplinary research. Next to experience in qualitative research, theoretical skills are highly needed to work in such a cross-case-setting. Interdisciplinary research needs regular exchange. For this reason the candidates have to be prepared to move to Utrecht.

Position in the UvH organisation
The Ph.D. and research projects will be carried out within the chair ‘Citizenship and Humanisation of the Public Sector’ headed by prof. Evelien Tonkens, which hosts Nicole Immler’s VICI-project. The Ph.D.’s will also be embedded in the UvH’s Graduate School.