PhD The politics of reforming Southern Europe’s economies (1FTE)

PhD The politics of reforming Southern Europe’s economies (1FTE)

Published Deadline Location
16 Nov 6 Dec Rotterdam

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Join Erasmus University Rotterdam for a PhD position on European Union politics. You will focus on key economic challenges and unravel the major political dynamics shaping Southern Europe’s reform capacities. You will conduct a comparative case study on how Italy and Spain interact with the EU on their economic decision-making.

Job description

The research group on European and Global Governance at Erasmus University offers a PhD position to study the politics of reforming Southern European economies. The position is part of the project “Towards a resilient European Union? Post-pandemic economic governance amidst politicization”, financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

The project takes as starting point that member state compliance with reform recommendations from the EU has been poor. It sets out to investigate whether linking the European Recovery Fund (NextGeneration EU) to compliance lead to more reform efforts or whether forces such as Euroscepticism hold member states back.

You will get the chance to conduct inspiring research based on theoretically-informed comparative case studies on economic policy reforms in Italy and Spain in areas such as the labor market, public pensions, and tax policies. You will be able to analyse factors like public opinion, actor preferences and coalitions, politicization strategies, and bargaining dynamics. Research methods may include, but are not limited to, process tracing, document analysis, and interviews with key actors from the EU and the member states. Research visits to Brussels and a research stay in the relevant member states are also considered.

You will have the opportunity to present your research at international conferences that will culminate in a dissertation based on a set of research articles. You will also be involved in organizing workshops with the international advisory board of the project and social impact activities.

You will work in close cooperation with Prof. dr. Markus Haverland, a daily supervisor and a fellow PhD student who focuses on Germany and the Netherlands. You will be embedded in the vibrant, internationally oriented, and caring research group on European and Global Governance at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology. Training will be offered by the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities and the research school Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG). Additional training at international post-graduate programs is also possible.



Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)



  • A master degree in Political Science, Political Economy, Public Administration, European Studies or related disciplines
  • Knowledge of the European Union and socio-economic and fiscal policies is an advantage
  • Experience with theoretically-informed empirical research
  • Fluency in English
  • Proficiency in Italian and/or Spanish is a strong advantage
  • Capacity to work independently as well as in a team and communication skills for interacting with European and national decision-makers

Conditions of employment

An internationally oriented and varied job in an enthusiastic team, with good working conditions in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU).

The start date of this position is 1 January 2023 or soon thereafter and you will be based at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The position is for 1,0 FTE. The salary is standard and ranges from a minimum of € 2.541 to a maximum of € 3.247 gross per month on a fulltime basis, in accordance with scale PR the CAO-NU. In addition, we offer an 8% holiday allowance, an end-of-year payment of 8.3%, and a very generous paid leave scheme. Furthermore, EUR is affiliated with ABP for the pension provision, and we offer partially paid parental leave, fully paid extended birth leave for partners, a personal career budget, work-life balance coaches, discounted collective health insurance, and more. As an employee, you can also use EUR facilities such as the University library and receive a discount on subscriptions for the Erasmus sports center.

Erasmus University Rotterdam aspires to be an equitable and inclusive community. We nurture an open culture, where everyone is supported to fulfill their full potential. We see inclusivity of talent as the basis of our successes, and the diversity of perspectives and people as a highly valued outcome. EUR provides equal opportunities to all employees and applicants regardless of gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, neurodiversity, functional impairment, citizenship, or any other aspect which makes them unique. We look forward to welcoming you to our community.


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is an internationally oriented university with a strong social orientation in its education and research, as expressed in our mission ‘Creating positive societal impact’. EUR is home to 3.700 academics and professionals and almost 33.000 students from more than 140 countries. Everything we do, we do under the credo The Erasmian Way – Making Minds Matter. We’re global citizens, connecting, entrepreneurial, open-minded, and socially involved. These Erasmian Values function as our internal compass and create EUR’s distinctive and recognizable profile. From these values, with a broad perspective and with an eye for diversity, different backgrounds and opinions, our employees work closely together to solve societal challenges from the dynamic and cosmopolitan city of Rotterdam. Thanks to the high quality and positive societal impact of our research and education, EUR can compete with the top European universities.


Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)

The Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences is home to a vast diversity of scientific disciplines: public administration, pedagogical sciences, psychology and sociology. In addition, the Erasmus University College, IHS, and two research institutes RISBO and DRIFT are linked to the faculty. This also reflects in the content of the (international) bachelor's and master's programs and in research.  Our activities are always focused on people and society. At the ESSB fundamental, internationally oriented research is of paramount importance. In addition, social research for professionals, policy makers, and the society is part of our research activities. ESSB offers a stimulating research environment where major national and international research grants are received. Appealing guest researchers and ambitious PhD candidates come along to conduct their research. Our education is small-scale and works with innovative forms of education such as Problem-Based Learning (PBL). Both the Dutch and English programs are highly ranked by students and alumni. ESSB is home to over 4000 students and more than 400 staff-members. The different disciplines are supported by the Faculty Office (for more information, please visit

Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

DPAS covers the disciplines of Public Administration and Sociology. Two related scientific fields with different profiles. Public Administration studies governance capacity and policy interventions. It focuses on the institutional power to organize and intervene in the relations between different social, political and economic actors. Public Administration in Rotterdam goes well beyond the public realm itself and pays attention to public-private cooperation and networks of organizations. Sociology investigates the social structure of societies and the way it evolves. Sociologists in Rotterdam focus among other things on processes of globalization and individualization and on the effects of these processes on international social relations, the labor market or family relations. Related social problems that are studied are migration, flexibilization and solidarity. The perspectives of Public Administration and Sociology complement each other. Together they guarantee a highly relevant and scientific approach to topical administrative and social issues. The bachelor- and masterprogrammes of DPAS are build on this profile and educate students to become scientifically schooled professionals.


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • Doctorate
  • ESSB/DPAS/151122


Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3062 PA, Rotterdam

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