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As a postdoctoral researcher you will be responsible for one of the five subprojects of the NWO-funded VICI project entitled 'Source of Life: Water Management in the Premodern Middle East (7th-15th Century)'. This project studies the interrelationship between water installations, governance, and legal and cultural frameworks in five Middle Eastern cities (Basra, Baghdad, Mosul, Damascus and Cairo) from the first Arab conquests to Ottoman rule (7th-15th c.). By integrating both written and material sources and employing a comparative approach, it seeks to: 1) map the institutional fabric of premodern Middle Eastern cities by taking water as a key service; and 2) identify incentives for institutional innovation in premodern urban water governance. A more detailed description of the project can be found here.
Subproject 3 - Basra, Baghdad and Mosul: Long-term evolution of urban water provision
Your postdoctoral research will approach the two main objectives of the project (see above) from a comparative perspective. Studying the rich literary source material on three Iraqi cities (Basra, Baghdad and Mosul) over time, you will map and investigate the long-term evolution of the management of water institutions. These three cities, each located in distinct natural environments, followed divergent social and political pathways, with different local and regional functions over time, each of them subject to numerous regime changes, and with varying levels of urbanisation throughout their existence. By exploring varying social, cultural, political and environmental circumstances, you will develop a comparative grid for analysing water provision.
You will contribute research results to the project's database. Your findings should be presented in at least four major articles (some of which co-authored) in international scientific journals, as well as in several conference papers and book chapters. You are also expected to contribute to wider communication of the project's results. Furthermore, you will cooperate closely with all other subprojects and participate in the project's programme of meetings as a speaker and organiser.
Fixed-term contract: You will be appointed for an initial period of 12 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended with another 3 years.
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