Postdoctoral research Fellow in Political Economy

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Political Science

Publication date
6 April 2017
Level of education
Salary indication
€3,427 to €4,691 gross per month, based on 38 hours per week
Closing date
3 May 2017
26,6 hours per week
Vacancy number

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the largest educational and research institution in the social sciences in the Netherlands, and one of the highest-ranked such institutions in Europe. The Faculty serves 7,500 students in numerous Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication Science, Psychology, Social Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, and Educational Sciences. The academic staff is employed in education as well as research. There are over 1,100 employees at the Faculty, which resides in a number of buildings in the centre of Amsterdam.

The Department of Political Sciences is one of the departments of the FMG. The College of Social Sciences (CSW) and the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) are responsible for the under-graduate and graduate teaching programmes in Political Science. The research within the Department is conducted in research programmes of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). The AISSR unites the social science research of the UvA, and is one of the largest research institutes in Europe.

Project description

The Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam invites applications for a 18 month postdoctoral research fellowship. The position is part of the research project ‘The Political Economy of Macroeconomic Measurement’, led by prof. Daniel Mügge and funded by the European Research Council (ERC). More information about the project can be found on the project website.

Macroeconomic indicators stand central in economic governance and its political contestation. Measurements of growth, unemployment, inflation and public deficits tell us 'how economies are doing'. At the ballot box citizens can punish politicians who fail to deliver on these indicators. And the indicators are often integral to policy through inflation-indexation of wages or hard rules on permissible deficits.

In contrast to their air of objectivity, it is everything but self-evident how these indicators should be defined and measured. Our measurement choices have deeply distributional consequences: they produce winners and losers. They shape our future, for example when GDP figures hide the cost of environmental degradation. So why do we measure our economies in the way we do?

Systematic knowledge on the politics of macroeconomic measurement is thin for OECD members already. But it is almost non-existent for other countries. To address this gap, this postdoc project focuses on one non-OECD economy: South Africa. It has become an important player on the global economic stage over the past two decades, and it has been drawn into the web of global economic governance. That has entailed an increasing embrace of macroeconomic measurement practices such as the System of National Accounts, which had been devised by and for rich, developed countries. At the same time, South Africa comes to global statistical practices from a very specific vantage point, given both its legacy of apartheid and a highly idiosyncratic economic structure.

Through focal points to be specified by the successful applicant, this project will shed light on the political economy of measuring the South African Economy, both considering the political origins of the specific measures that were chosen or adopted, and the political consequences of these specific measurements.

The successful candidate will:

  • conduct research within the framework of the above-described project;
  • publish, in part together with the project leader, the results of the research in high-quality academic outlets;
  • contribute to the organisational aspects of the project and to knowledge valorisation activities;
  • contribute to and initiating bids for further external research funding;
  • aid in the supervision of the PhD and MA students in Fickle Formulas, helping them with theoretical and practical guidance where necessary;
  • regularly present intermediate research results at international workshops and conferences, and publish them in proceedings and journals;
  • be willing to spend up to 20 per cent of the time, including preparation time, on teaching the BA or MA programme. Teaching requirements depend on demand in the respective educational programmes.


  • A completed doctoral thesis in political science, political economy, or another field with clear relevance to the research project;
  • an ongoing programme of research and publications, focused on international peer-reviewed journals and/or books published by internationally recognised academic presses;
  • evidence of affinity with the themes of the project.

Further information

Additional information about the vacancy may be obtained from:

Information about the overall project is available through the:


The appointment is for a 0.7 fte position (26.6 hours per week). In consultation with the teaching directors of the BA and MA programmes that the political science department services, there may be opportunities to combine this position with teaching tasks.

Based on a full-time appointment (38 hours per week) the gross monthly salary will range from €3,427 to €4,691 gross (scale 11) depending on experience. The salary will be increased by 8 % holiday allowance and 8,3 % annual bonus. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO) is applicable. The appointment will be temporary for 18 months and will begin in the autumn of 2017.

Job application

Applications should comprise a letter of motivation, a full CV including a list of publications and contact details of three referees, and a statement of how the candidate would envision investigating the issues laid out above (1,000 words max). These should be sent electronically in one document, preferably as a pdf-file. Please do not send us additional documentation at this stage. The deadline for applications is 3 May 2017. Please send your application to with vacancy number 17-163 as subject.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam