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CfA: Head of Research Group in Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script” (postdoc, 5 years)

News vom 07.06.2019

Cluster of Excellence "Contestations of the Liberal Script" (SCRIPTS)

Head of research group (Postdoctoral Research Fellow) work Time: 100% limited to 5 years Salary: 14 TV-L FU Kennung: 2019-Liberal-Script-History

Bewerbungsende: 01.07.2019

Freie Universität Berlin is seeking to employ a head of a research group (postdoctoral research fellow) for the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script” (SCRIPTS).

SCRIPTS analyzes the contemporary controversies about the liberal order from a historical, global, and comparative perspective. It connects the academic expertise in the social sciences and area studies in Berlin, collaborates with research institutions in all world regions, and maintains cooperative ties with major political, cultural and social institutions [http://www.scripts-berlin.eu].

The aim of the research group is to contribute to the overall problematic of the Cluster from a historical perspective. How can the assumptions of the Cluster about the “contestations of the liberal script” after 1989 be situated in the longue durée of the past two centuries, including the questions of the genesis of this script and of alternatives to the liberal idea of social order. Ever since the 18th century, assumptions of the liberal “script” have been challenged, by individuals and groups; frequently, this critique aimed at alternative visions of social order. The critique, in some cases, was directed against specific elements of the liberal “script”; in others, it pointed to internal contradictions of the script; in yet others, it amounted to a fundamental questioning of the liberal script in its entirety. Some challenges concerned the liberal script’s claim to universality, instead proposing either a focus on particular/incompatible orders, or alternative forms of universalism. Did such conflicts over the liberal script increase over time? Did challenges follow a specific logic, did they resemble each other? Were challenges primarily based on intellectual visions, or also linked to political movements and social practices? Were such conflicts connected, across political and cultural borders? Is it possible to write a history of accommodation with, and challenge and rejection of, the liberal script, and to periodize it?
Applicants are invited to develop a project that deals with some of these questions, both empirically and theoretically. The project should address some of the issues mentioned above, but is not expected to deal with all of them. Applicants should develop a sketch for the research project as a whole (consisting of 1 postdoc position and 2 pre-doc positions), with a focus on the applicant’s own project, and brief remarks on potential PhD projects. The project as a whole should include comparative, transnational, or global perspectives; it should not be limited to one world region and should ideally include the world beyond the North Atlantic.

Job description:
-           Development of a transregional research group related to the core agenda of

-           Supervision of 2 doctoral students as part of the research group
-           Participation in the Theory Network of SCRIPTS; liaising between historical projects

           within the Cluster of Excellence, and the Theory Network.
-           Dissemination of research results through publications, workshops and conferences
-           Teaching is possible, but there is no teaching requirement

PhD in History or Area Studies (with a focus on history), 18-20th centuries, related to the subject of the Cluster of Excellence.

Very good knowledge of theories and methods of transregional/transnational history and global history
Very good knowledge of the theme of SCRIPTS, including the emergence of the liberal script and its historical contestations
Very good English language skills
Language skills relevant for own project

For more information, please contact Sebastian Conrad; Andreas Eckert; Ulrike Freitag; Jessica Gienow-Hecht; Gudrun Krämer and Klaus Mühlhahn (via: jobs@scripts-berlin.eu)

Weitere Informationen

Please send your application materials in ONE pdf document. Materials should include: Cover letter (max. 2 pages); CV with publications; summary of PhD dissertation (2 pages); project proposal for own project (and for the research group) (2 pages); names and contact details of two referees as an e-mail to Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel: jobs@scripts-berlin.eu or postal to


Freie Universität Berlin

Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften

Exzellenzcluster "Contestations of the Liberal Script" (SCRIPTS)

Frau Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel

Ihnestr. 22

14195 Berlin (Dahlem)

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