Gepubliceerd op 30-01-2024

PhD Position Transatlantic Environmental History – Leiden University

The PhD candidate will become part of the LUIH Starting Grant projects “Challenging disciplinary boundaries in security cooperation and crisis governance” and “Re-Scaling Security: Histories and Practices of Trans-Local Cooperation,” led by Dr. Andrea Warnecke and Håvar Solheim, and will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Dario Fazzi. The PhD position is fully funded. The expected starting date is 1 September 2024.

Project description:
Within the contexts of the two interrelated LUIH Starting Grant projects, “Re-Scaling Security” specifically aims to examine the rise in cooperation among local environmental activist networks across the Atlantic, spotlighting original narratives of environmental security that have emerged over recent decades. This PhD project is meant to add fresh historical perspectives on socio-ecological threats and innovative concepts of environmental governance, particularly the ones related to bodies of water. While transnational organizations have been extensively studied, local environmental activism has not received comparable historiographical focus. The project should identify and analyze the exchanges between local environmentalist groups and organizations operating within western democratic systems so to enable further exploration of their role in reconfiguring patterns – and limits – of contemporary environmental democracy.

We are thus calling for proposals that offer a historical analysis of one or more of the following dynamics:

  • The transformation of local ecological demands into broader forms of environmental justice and rights;
  • The contribution of local actors and networks to reshaping environmental protection as a key element of human security;
  • The ways in which local concerns regarding environmental exploitation and contamination have brought to light extractive policies and practices.

We are also receptive to other suggestions that align with the larger theme of the project. We invite research approaches that intersect environmental, diplomatic, social, cultural, and political history, enhancing the multidisciplinary nature of the project.

Key responsibilities:

  • Completion of a PhD thesis within four years;
  • Participation in meetings of the project research group;
  • Presentations of intermediate research results at workshops and conferences;
  • Participation in the training programme of the Graduate School;
  • Co-organizing workshops and conferences.


Requirements for PhD candidates:

  • An RMA or MA in history, international relations, environmental humanities, or a related field, held by time of appointment, with an MA thesis of high quality. 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 US and European environmental history;
  • Well-developed archival and research skills;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of an (international) team;
  • Excellent command of English.
  • Good writing skills

Conditions of employment

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. For more information on the Institute for History: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/humanities/institute-for-history/phd-programme.

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.

Apply now!

Additional information


For more information, including a full description of the project, contact Prof. Dr. Dario Fazzi, d.fazzi@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.