PhD Position: Legal Mobilisation in European Law

PhD Position: Legal Mobilisation in European Law

Published Deadline Location
18 Mar 15 Apr Amsterdam

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Job description

Are you looking for a challenging position in a dynamic setting? The Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES) currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the starting grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands project ‘Legal mobilisation in European law’, led by principal investigators Dr. Marta Morvillo and Dr. Stefan Salomon, with the collaboration of Prof. Luiza Bialasiewicz. ARTES is one of the five Research Schools within the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR).

You will also form part of the Department of International and European Public Law and the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG). ACELG has a strong track-record of excellent research and sustains a dynamic research culture through a series of events and initiatives. ACELG participates among other things in the project SGEL that connects European law with public international law and private law and is home to the ERC Consolidator project ‘Strategic Climate Litigation’s Direct and Indirect Consequences for Democracies’, led by Prof. Christina Eckes.

What is the project about?
Legal mobilisation is on the rise in Europe. Citizens and associations increasingly use law to hold governments and companies accountable for failing to uphold their environmental and fundamental rights commitments. Legal mobilization can be broadly described as a practice of pursuing social, political, or economic change through legal means in judicial or quasi-judicial fora.

While legal mobilisation is a flourishing field of research, important questions still need to be addressed regarding the actors that engage in legal mobilisation, and the socio-economic and political contexts within which such mobilisation occurs. The project will thus query the role that private and public actors assume in legal mobilization, the way in which legal, political, and economic structures shape practices of legal mobilization, as well as questions regarding the broader implications of legal mobilisation on institutions and decision-making processes.

What are you going to do?
The PhD project is part of the broader project on legal mobilisation in European law. The objective of the PhD project is to enquire how socio-economic structures on the one hand and legal structures on the other co-constitute each other in practices of legal mobilization in Europe. Within this general topic, we envisage several possible strands of enquiry that the PhD project could focus on: (1) different actors that engage in legal mobilisation, (2) procedural rules that shape practices of legal mobilisation, (3) institutional power shifts as an effect of legal mobilisation.

We welcome research proposals that address either one of these lines of enquiry or several aspects cutting across different lines of enquiry through interdisciplinary methods that are broadly located in the law in context approach. This may include a variety of different methodologies (e.g. political theory, legal anthropology, sociologically informed approaches) and methods (e.g. participants observation, qualitative interviews, quantitative approaches). Legal mobilization could also be investigated from a comparative or a multi-level perspective.

Tasks and responsibilities:
  • participating in meetings and activities of the project research group;
  • submission of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • publishing one single-authored, peer reviewed article;
  • publishing one peer reviewed article, co-authored with one or more supervisors;
  • presenting intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • contributing to the organisation of knowledge dissemination activities;
  • (Co-)teaching courses at the BA-level in the 2nd and 3rd year of the appointment (max. 0,2FTE per year);
  • participating in the Research School and Faculty of Humanities and/or the Amsterdam Law School PhD.


University of Amsterdam (UvA)


  • a completed Master's degree in law or a related discipline in the social sciences or humanities with proven knowledge of European law. You may apply if you have not yet completed your Master's degree only if you provide a signed letter from your supervisor stating that you will graduate before 1 December 2024
  • research skills demonstrated by an outstanding Master’s thesis or other published or unpublished work
  • excellent written and oral communication in English (proficiency in Dutch is an advantage)
  • proven experience in academic writing in English.

In addition, you offer the following skills:
  • experience or interest in working with a variety of different methodologies and methods
  • strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences
  • excellent organizational skills and ability to work independently.

Please note that if you already hold a doctorate/PhD or are working towards obtaining a similar degree elsewhere, you cannot be admitted to a doctoral programme at the UvA.

Conditions of employment

We offer a temporary employment contract for the period of 48 months. The first contract will be for 16 months, with an extension for the following 32 months, contingent on a positive performance evaluation within the first 12 months. The employment contract is for 38 hours a week. The preferred starting date is 01 September 2024.

Your salary is in the first year of the employment contract € 2,770 up and in the last year a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance. Favourable tax agreements may apply to applicants moving from abroad. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities is applicable.

What else do we offer?
  • PhD candidates receive a tuition fee waiver;
  • PhD candidates have free access to courses offered by the Graduate School of Humanities, the Amsterdam Law School, and the Dutch National Research Schools;
  • excellent possibilities for further professional development and education;
  • an inspiring academic and international work environment in the heart of Amsterdam;
  • an enthusiastic and professional academic team.


Faculty of Humanities

The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 42,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.

The Faculty of Humanities provides education and conducts research with a strong international profile in a large number of disciplines in de field of language and culture. Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the faculty maintains close ties with many cultural institutes in the capital city. Research and teaching staff focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and are active in several teaching programmes.

Amsterdam Law School. With over 5,000 students and 550 staff, we are one of the larger law faculties in the Netherlands. We educate legal professionals who know how to apply the law effectively with the aim of actually contributing to solutions for society. We respond to social developments through innovative and pioneering research. In this way, we always keep in touch with society.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 12783


University of Amsterdam (UvA)

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Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012CX, Amsterdam

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