Gepubliceerd op 18-04-2018

Postdoctoral position ’Economic diplomats and conflict management’

Job description

The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the six research schools, currently has a vacant Postdoctoral position as part of the NWO-funded VIDI project ‘Managing multi-level conflicts in commercial cities in northern Europe (c. 1350-1570)’, led by Dr Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz.

Bruges and Antwerp form a classic combination in the historical analysis of the premodern international urban trade. Recently, it has been posited that urban rivalry has fuelled overall institutional change, also in terms of developing efficient institutions of conflict resolution. This has rekindled the debate on the role of institutions and the extent of the uniqueness of the case of the cities of the Low Countries. The project will contribute to this debate by expanding the scope of the academic discussion in a fourfold way, taking its point of departure in the premises of the overall VIDI project:

  1. the concept of conflict resolution should be expanded to conflict management;
  2. micro-, meso- and macro-conflicts of diverse nature (social, political, economic) should be analysed as part of one system;
  3. the geographical comparative approach means that a contrasting case of the commercial city of London, which differed in the form of political, economic and juridical autonomy from Bruges and Antwerp, will be analysed;
  4. next to the institutions and strategies of conflict management, also the specific actors taking on such tasks, should be studied. Here, the focus will be on economic diplomats: Hanseatic traders on missions to these cities, urban councillors, lawyers, clergy, representatives of rulers.

On a theoretical level, the project will contribute to discussions conducted within the fields of Alternative Dispute Resolution and economic diplomacy.

You will work closely with a PhD dealing with 1) Lübeck, Tallinn/Reval and Stockholm and 2) a postdoc analysing Gdańsk/Danzig, Elbląg/Elbing and Toruń/Thorn = PI. The cooperation will take place on a conceptual level and by creating a shared source data base.

Tasks will include:

  • construction of a shared project database;
  • presenting (intermediate) research results at national and international workshops and conferences;
  • delivering a number of publications directly related to the ‘Managing multi-level conflicts’ project in international journals and/or as chapters with leading presses, both individually as well as in cooperation with other project members;
  • participation in meetings of the project research group;
  • participation in knowledge dissemination activities;
  • assisting with organisational matters connected to the project, such as conference and workshop organization.


The successful applicant must have:

  • a PhD, preferably in History (held by time of appointment and obtained no longer than four years ago);
  • an excellent research and publication record in relation to stage of career;
  • experience with archival research and the reading of manuscripts, preferably concerning the cities which are under analysis;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • excellent command of English and at least very good command of Dutch;
  • some organisational experience.

Digital Humanities skills are an advantage.

Conditions of employment

You will be appointed for 30.4 hours per week (0.8 FTE) for a period of 36 months at the Department of History, European Studies & Religious Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 September 2018. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €3,238 to €3,954 depending on experience and qualifications, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

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.


Amsterdam School of Historical Studies

Research at the Faculty of Humanities is carried out by six research schools under the aegis of the Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research. The Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH), one of the six research schools, currently has a vacant Postdoctoral position as part of the NWO-funded VIDI project ‘Managing multi-level conflicts in commercial cities in northern Europe (c. 1350-1570)’, led by Dr Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz.


Additional information

You may obtain further information about this position, including a research note on the overall project, from:

In order to be considered, you must include the following information (in the same order), in one PDF file (not zipped):

  • a letter of motivation;
  • a full academic CV, including contact information of two referees who may be approached by the selection committee;
  • a research proposal of 1500-1800 words:1) showing how you would analyse the activities of people involved in multi-level conflict management in Bruges, Antwerp and London;2) discussing the possibilities as well as challenges you see in analysing different types of conflict in an integral way and

    3) whether, and if appropriate, how you have made use of and contributed to social theory. Excluded are the bibliography and (if appropriate) an appendix containing a list of sources (together max. two pages A4);

  •  copy of relevant diploma.

You must have completed your PhD before the start of this postdoctoral project.

Please submit your complete application no later than 7 May 2018 to solliciteren2018-FGW@uva.nl.

Only complete applications submitted as one PDF file to this email address will be considered.

Interviews will take place in the week of 4 to 8 June 2018. If you are living abroad interviews may be held via Skype.

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.