Chair of Global Economic and Social History

Chair of Global Economic and Social History

Published Deadline Location
24 Dec 8 Feb Amsterdam

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Job description

The Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, is seeking to fill the Chair in Global Economic and Social History (GESH).

The successful applicant will assume leadership of a dynamic research group which focuses on economic developments in a societal context, from 1800 to the present, linking local and global developments, and with a special interest in the challenges of Eurocentrism. The character of the chair is explicitly interdisciplinary, and the chair holder is expected to establish collaborations within the faculty and beyond – in particular with the VU School of Business and Economics. The Global Economic and Social History Chair presently concentrates on the history of capitalism, history of overseas trade networks, history of labour, history of migration and forced displacement patterns, maritime history, and history of knowledge societies and economies.

In terms of teaching, Global Economic and Social History has a key position in the three-year Bachelor’s Programme History and International Studies, the one-year Master’s specialization in Global History and International Studies, and the Global History track of the two-year Humanities Research Master’s Programme of the VU Graduate School of Humanities. Teaching is research based and includes undergraduate survey courses as well as specialized seminars. Some courses are also open to students of the VU School of Business and Economics.

In addition to doing research and taking up research leadership, supervision, and teaching, the successful applicant will also be expected to play a part in the life and administration of the department of Art & Culture, History, and Antiquity, as well as in the Faculty of Humanities as a whole.  


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • PhD degree in a relevant field, and with proven expertise in economics
  • extensive research experience in Global Economic and Social History and current historiographic and theoretical debates in this field, beyond a focus on Europe and North America, supported by a list of outstanding publications, and preferably connected to one of the Chair’s existing research themes: history of capitalism, history of overseas trade networks, history of labour, history of migration and forced displacement patterns, maritime history, and history of knowledge societies and economies
  • proven outstanding competence in academic teaching in Global Economic and Social History and related fields, in particular in international, diverse classrooms, while supporting more diversity in teaching and learning
  • sustained competence in academic leadership, including supervision of doctoral students and management experience of larger academic teams
  • the ability also to take on a more generalist role beyond one’s own specialization in teaching, contributing to research programmes, and supervising young scholars in Global Economic and Social History
  • the ability to collaborate across disciplines and across Faculties; the ability to design research projects and teaching modules in connection with pressing social issues and with partners from outside academia
  • (near) native proficiency (C1 level at least) in English. For those who are not native speakers of Dutch also a willingness to acquire at least a passive understanding of the Dutch language within two years after appointment
  • proven outstanding competence in applying for research funding and willingness to design and submit new research proposals
  • experience in establishing effective and enduring relationships with scholarly institutions and societal stakeholders like heritage institutions, finance and business, and wider society
  • interest in addressing the history of the Netherlands in a global context

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 5 years.

The nature of the initial appointment depends on the qualifications and track record of the successful applicant, and may either be temporary with the intention of permanent appointment upon a mutually positive assessment, or (in case of exceptional qualifications and experience) permanent from the start. Preferred starting date is September 1, 2021.

On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €5,190 (scale 13) and a maximum of €8,371 (scale H2), depending on qualifications and experience. The job profile will be UHD (Associate Professor) or Hoogleraar-2 (Full Professor), based on the Dutch university job ranking system, and is vacant for 0.8 - 1.0 FTE. In case of an appointment as Associate Professor, we will offer a tenure track towards Full Professorship.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavour – from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Humanities
The Faculty of Humanities links a number of fields of study: Language, Literature and Communication, Art & Culture, History, Antiquities and Philosophy. Our teaching and research focus on current societal and scientific themes: from artificial intelligence to visual culture, from urbanization to the history of slavery, from ‘fake news’ in journalism to communication in organizations. We strive to ensure small group sizes. Innovative education and interdisciplinary research are our hallmarks.

Working at the Faculty of Humanities means making a real contribution to the quality of leading education and research in an inspiring and personal work and study climate. We employ more than 250 staff members, and we are home to around 1,300 students.
About the department
The historians participate in the interdisciplinary department of Art and Culture, History, Antiquity (AHA) with an active collaboration across disciplines in both the teaching programmes and in the research clusters of the interfaculty Research Institute for Culture, Cognition, History and Heritage (CLUE+) of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The History Chairs are focused on themes, addressing Ancient History (of  the Mediterranean area), Cultural History (mainly during the early modern period), Political History (imperial history), Religious History (diachronic and across religions), Global Economic and Social History,  Global History from an Anthropological Perspective (mainly  China, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean region) and Water- and Environmental History (Western cultures and Asia). The Chairs work together in Chair groups. The research of the new professor will be embedded in the ‘Global History, heritage and memory’ research cluster of the research institute CLUE+, as well as in the N.W. Posthumus Research School for Economic and Social History in the Netherlands and Flanders.


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Behaviour and society
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €5190—€8371 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 6996


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV, Amsterdam

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