Gepubliceerd op 19-07-2023

2 PhD Positions in the history of U.S. foreign relations and international order – Leiden University

The Institute for History at the University of Leiden invites applications for:

2 PhD Positions in the history of U.S. foreign relations and international order (1.0 FTE)

The PhD candidates will become part of the NWO-funded Vidi project ‘America…

Job Description

Project description

Historians and scholars of international relations often talk about how the United States set out to create a “liberal international order” after World War II. But is that actually what U.S. policymakers were trying to do? This project investigates the complexities of the American approach to international order – defined as the rules, norms and institutions shaping and mediating international politics – in the postwar period. It aims to show how the U.S. approach to international order in the postwar period was influenced by illiberal as well as liberal ideologies, and to explore the complexities and contradictions of liberalism itself.

As members of the project, the PhD candidates will produce dissertations which focus on an aspect of this broader topic. This may be an exploration of a particular theme (for instance democracy, religion, capitalism, the environment, etc.), a particular influential policymaker or intellectual, or an important time period. An innovative research proposal is an important aspect of the application.

Key responsibilities

  • Completion of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • Contribution to the group’s societal and policy outreach;
  • Presentation of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • Participating in meetings of the research group;
  • Participation in the training programs of the Graduate School;
  • Contribution to undergraduate teaching in second and third years.


  • An MA or MSc in history, international relations, or a related field, held by time of appointment. If the degree is not yet obtained at the time of application, a statement by the applicant’s supervisor should confirm that it will be obtained by time of appointment;
  • Knowledge of the history and/or theoretical debates concerning U.S. foreign policy and international order;
  • Excellent and demonstrable research and writing skills and preferably experience with historical (archival) research;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of an (international) team;
  • Excellent command of English.

Conditions of Employment

Diversity and inclusion

Leiden University’s Institute for History embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized backgrounds to apply.

Terms and conditions

We offer a full-time position for initially one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2,541. – to € 3,247. -gross per month (pay scale P, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. Click here for more information.


About our organisation

Since its founding in 1575, Leiden University has acquired an international reputation for excellent teaching and research.With its staff of over 800, the Faculty of Humanities provides 26 Bachelors and 27 Masters programmes for over 7,200 students based at locations in Leiden and The Hague.

The Institute for History is the home of a vibrant community of researchers and lecturers with outstanding track records and successful in attracting national and international research grants.

Under the label ‘Global Questions, Local Sources’ scholars affiliated to the Institute combine a deep knowledge of global interactions and of specific localities, regions and states in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. They use comparative, connective and entangled approaches and resort to qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

All researchers of the Institute for History are connected to one of the six research specializations: The Unification of the Mediterranean World (400 BC – 400 AD), Collective Identities and Transnational Networks in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, 1000-1800, Political Culture and National Identities, Colonial and Global History, Cities, Migration and Global Interdependence, and History and International Relations. Click here for more information on the Institute for History.

Additional Information

More information
For more information, including a fuller description of the project, contact Dr. Andrew Gawthorpe, a.j.gawthorpe@hum.leidenuniv.nl


Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Word lid van het KNHG.
Het Huygens Instituut beoogt de Nederlandse geschiedenis en cultuur inclusiever maken. Het ontsluit historische bronnen en literaire teksten en ontwikkelt innovatieve methoden, tools en duurzame digitale infrastructuur.