PhD candidate in Political Theory of Financial Debt

PhD candidate in Political Theory of Financial Debt

Published Deadline Location
19 Mar 15 May Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you exceptionally interested in political theory of economic and/or financial institutions and policy, and specifically in normative approaches to financial policy? Do you want to help reform the financial system? Is it your ambition to become a top-tier researcher in a socially relevant field?

The Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) invites applications to a PhD position within A New Normative Framework for Financial Debt project, which is being funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). This PhD track is part of the Political Theory group with the program group 'Challenges to Democratic Representation'.

Project description

Society is drowning in financial debts. But it is unclear how to deal with debt morally when it cannot be repaid or causes harmful side effects. The research group A New Normative Framework for Financial Debt develops practical, normative guidelines that help policymakers, creditors, and debtors to regulate and manage debt. It does this by treating foreseeable externalities as a key to sensible and socially desirable debt regulation.

The doctoral project will critically analyse existing practices of some debt category (individual, corporate, or sovereign, transnational, etc.) in order to formulate empirically sensitive and dispositionally plausible normative guidelines. The guidelines should be able to guide regulators and practitioners in creating policies that govern the responsibilities of creditors and debtors.

What will you be doing?

You will:

  • analyse provision of credit from a normative perspective;
  • offer a normative framework that can guide regulators and practitioners;
  •  take part in activities of the research group;
  • present your findings at international conferences;
  • present your findings to expert practitioners and regulators;
  • publish papers in leading journals;
  • complete a dissertation.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)



  • have a completed RMA or MA in political theory, philosophy, political economy or a related field;
  • have a background or demonstrable interest in understanding financial markets (prior experience in policy or private sector roles will be appreciated);
  • are inquisitive and capable of and enjoy independent research;
  • enjoy working in a larger intellectual team;
  • have academic integrity;
  • are eager to connect normative theory to policy;
  • have strong writing skills and fluency in English.

Conditions of employment

The intended starting date of the PhD position is 1 September 2020.

The position concerns a temporary employment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of 4 years. The initial employment contract is for one year. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended by a maximum of 36 months, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events. You will also be tasked with teaching Bachelor's students.

Your salary will be €2,325 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €2,972 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8,3%.

What else can we offer you?

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


University of Amsterdam

With over 5,000 employees, 30,000 students and a budget of more than 600 million euros, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) is an intellectual hub within the Netherlands. Teaching and research at the UvA are conducted within seven faculties: Humanities, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Economics and Business, Law, Science, Medicine and Dentistry. Housed on four city campuses in or near the heart of Amsterdam, where disciplines come together and interact, the faculties have close links with thousands of researchers and hundreds of institutions at home and abroad.  

The UvA’s students and employees are independent thinkers, competent rebels who dare to question dogmas and aren’t satisfied with easy answers and standard solutions. To work at the UvA is to work in an independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.


Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Political Science

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG) is the largest educational and research institution in the social sciences in the Netherlands. The Faculty serves 7,500 students in numerous Bachelor and Master 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 Science is one of the departments of the FMG. 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. In the most recent Shanghai rankings (2019), the political science department was ranked 20th in the world.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • 20-200


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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