Gepubliceerd op 12-04-2018

PhD position ‘The Hanse and conflict management’

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 PhD 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.

Project description
The Hanse was not only an organisation of towns and traders, but also an institution of conflict management for its members. Next to conflict resolution, the focus was on prevention and other manners of handling conflicts. This project will investigate how conflict management evolved and was executed in interrelated commercial towns: the Hanseatic Lübeck and Tallinn/Reval, as well as Stockholm which had close ties with the Hanse. The linkages between these cities were multiple: on the individual commercial level, which resulted in interurban migration; on the group level of political Hanseatic privileges and legal systems used in the cities for own citizens and foreigners; and on the large-scale level of policy, diplomacy and war. On the other hand, these cities faced various challenges to their autonomy: Lübeck as an imperial town, Reval which was under the rule of the Teutonic Order and in 1561 came under Swedish dominion; and Stockholm as the royal seat which was the scene of political tensions in the Scandinavian Union of Kalmar (1397-1523) and the growing ambitions of the Swedish kings to dominate the Baltic in the sixteenth century. Finally, there were several political, economic and cultural changes in the period 1350-1570 which affected the setup, needs and solutions used in conflict management in these commercial cities.

The goal of the project is to analyse the changing interplay between the micro-, meso- and macro strategies of conflict management in this city network. The category of conflicts is broad and thus transcends traditional historical subdisciplines: commercial disputes (debts, cheating, bankruptcies);  conflicts related to the mobility of traders and skippers (shipwreck, clashes about inheritances and religion), which could lead to large-scale conflicts; and finally, big politics (war, privateering, withdrawal of privileges, bans and embargoes). Chosen cases which connect various types of conflicts and conflict levels will constitute the core of the analysis. The PhD candidate will work closely with two postdocs dealing with 1) Bruges, Antwerp and London and 2) 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.

Your tasks will include:

  • completion and defence of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • participation in meetings of the project research group and the development of a shared database;
  • participation in knowledge dissemination activities;
  • presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • participation in the training program of the Graduate School / Research School;
  • contribute to teaching courses during the second and/or third year.

The successful applicant must have:

  • a (R)MA or MPhil degree in History, German studies, Scandinavian studies or Eastern Baltic studies with a history specialization (held by time of appointment);
  • excellent command of English, at least good command of (Middle Low) German and at least some knowledge of Swedish and the willingness to improve it;
  • excellent research skills;
  • preferably experience with premodern manuscript reading;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research.

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

You will be appointed for 38 hours per week (1.0 FTE) for a period of 48 months at the Department of History, European Studies & Religious Studies of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. Initially a contract will be given for 12 months, with an extension for the following 36 months on the basis of a positive evaluation. The intended starting date of the contract is 1 September 2018. The gross monthly salary (on full-time basis) will range from €2,222 during the first year to €2,840 during the fourth year, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

In order to be considered, your application 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 1000 to 1500 words, showing how you would analyse three different types of conflict (e.g. concerning shipwreck), and the possibilities as well as challenges s/he sees in analysing diferent types of conflict in an integral way. Excluded are the bibliography and (if appropriate) an appendix containing a list of sources (together max. two pages A4);
  • a list of grades obtained for the Bachelor and Master (or equivalent) programmes and
  • a copy of relevant diploma.

Please submit your complete application no later than 7 May 2018 to solliciteren2018-FGW@uva.nl. We will consider only complete applications submitted as one PDF file to this email address.

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

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