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PhD Candidate in the field of socio-legal studies concerning climate change and water management

Vacancy number
22-390 11951
Job type
Academic staff
Hours (in fte)
External/ internal
Placed on
21 June 2022
Closing date
5 July 2022 Vacancy closed

The University of Leiden and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV-KNAW) are looking for a

PhD Candidate in the field of socio-legal studies concerning climate change and water management in
Vacancy number 22-390 11951

Leiden University and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) offer one four-year PhD position at the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. The PhD candidate will be working at the Leiden-based KITLV, an institute of the KNAW, and will defend the PhD thesis at Leiden University. This position is shared with the Faculty of Law. The PhD candidate will be jointly supervised by senior researchers at KITLV and the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society of Leiden University’s Law Faculty.

Project description
Climate change poses enormous challenges to Indonesia, in particular in the field of water management. The detrimental effects of deforestation, depletion of ground water resources, water pollution and coastal erosion are being reinforced by prolonged draughts alternated with heavy rainfall and rising sealevels. This exacerbates already existing conflicts about water and land use and their distribution and thus presents a huge political challenge.

Governing such changes in itself is already difficult, but this is even more the case in a situation where the operation of the legal system is characterised by pluralism, both between state law and other normative orders and within state law itself. Siloism within the national government as well tensions between different levels of government lead to jurisdictional conflicts and to separate, often conflicting legal bodies of rules administered by competing state instutions. Courts have so far proven unable to effectively to function as an integrating mechanism in this matter.

This situation raises several questions, such as 
1) to what extent does Indonesia’s legal system manage to address the challenges posed by climate change; 
2) what does its involvement in addressing them mean for the the conflicts these challenges generate; and 
3) what are the effects of this on the legal system? 
We invite candidates to submit an application, including a research idea (max. 500 words) within the above boundaries.

Candidates preferably have a background in socio-legal studies. Candidates with a background in law but with a clear interest in and experience with the social sciences are welcome to apply too, just as as those who have a background in the social sciences but a clear interest and experience with law. 

Candidates should conduct their projects in Indonesia within the research profiles of these partners, see:
* Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governane & Society 
* Our Mission - KITLV 

Key responsibilities
* Conduct research, including field research in Indonesia;
* Publish on the basis of this research, culminating in a PhD dissertation completed in the allotted time (four years at 1.0 fte; five years at 0.8 fte);
* Participate in institute meetings both at KITLV and the Faculty of Law;
* Take part in the PhD program of the affiliated institutes;
* Participate in academic conferences, workshops, and other scholarly and outreach activities;
* Be involved in teaching up to a maximum of 10 percent of the time.

Selection criteria
The candidate should:
* Hold an MSc, LLM, MA or Mphil in socio-legal studies, the social sciences or law;
* Have a good command of English (written and spoken);
* Have (at least) a basic command of Indonesian;
* Be highly motivated and able to work independently;
* Have social and organizational skills.

Our organisation
Leiden Law School is located in Leiden and The Hague. With more than 6500 students and around 1000 staff, it is one of the largest university faculties in the Netherlands. The faculty focuses on innovative multidisciplinary research and educational programmes that are constantly renewed in response to issues in society. Our faculty is large enough to make a difference nationally and internationally, yet small enough to offer personalised education. This is how we contribute to a safe and sustainable world, each and every day. For more information: Leiden Law School - Leiden University.

The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) is part of the Leiden Law School. The VVI seeks to advance knowledge of the formation and functioning of legal systems in their social contexts, the impact of these systems on society and vice versa, their effectiveness in governance, and their contribution to development. The Institute adopts a socio-legal and global approach, doing research on law in the books and law in action in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America.

The Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) is a KNAW research institute. The KITLV conducts interdisciplinary and comparative historical research. Its research focus is Southeast Asia and the Caribbean, with an emphasis on Indonesia and the ‘Dutch’ Caribbean. It is particularly interested in such issues as state formation, violence and citizenship, processes of mobility, belonging, and the formation of ethnic and national identity, colonial and postcolonial themes, and the governance of climate change adaptation. KITLV is active in the humanities, social sciences and comparative area studies and is based on the Humanities campus of Leiden University. For more information: KITLV.

Terms and conditions
The appointment will be according to the terms of the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO Nederlandse Universiteiten). The employment will be for four years: first a contract of 12 months with an extension of 36 months after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility (on the basis of a 9-months paper). You are expected to start on September 1, 2022, or as soon as possible after that. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. Salary ranges from € 2443.- to € 3122.- gross per month (pay scale P) for a full-time appointment

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/working-at/job-application-procedure-and-employment-conditions

Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

For further information on this project, please get in touch with Adriaan Bedner via a.w.bedner@law.leidenuniv.nl.

Your application package should be submitted no later than 07/05/2022 via the blue button. The selection process will continue until the positions are filled. Those shortlisted will be asked for a sample academic writing and invited to come to Leiden (or online) for an interview.

Applicants should submit online:

•    A motivation letter (no more than 2 pages);
•    A detailed curriculum vitae;
•    A research proposal (no more than 2 pages);
•    Names, affiliations, and contact information of two referees (no reference letters).
Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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