04 June 2013

Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), Universiteit Utrecht
3 PhD Researchers
Deadline for application: 16 June 2013

The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) will be appointing three PhD researchers to engage in research on the so-called ‘receptor approach to human rights’. The receptor approach identifies the social institutions which are already in place in a given country to meet international human rights requirements, and it indicates how these institutions may be improved if they fall short of those requirements. By relying as much as possible on home-grown remedies, the receptor approach sets out to do justice to local culture and, at the same time, to enhance international human rights protection, especially in areas where such enhancement is most needed.

The following topics will be researched:
• Freedom to protest in China
• The receptor approach and public international
• The existence of a Sino-African human rights approach

About SIM
The Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), the Utrecht branch of the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research, is a research institute of the School of Law. Through its research program on Human Rights in a World of Conflict and Diversity, SIM participates in the focus area Conflicts and Human Rights. SIM is the Utrecht member of the Netherlands School of Human Rights Research, a consortium of six Dutch universities and the T.M.C. Asser Institute, which have pooled their resources in the area of human rights research. The School focuses in particular on multidisciplinary research on human rights in Asia and Africa, which is exemplified by the Receptor Project.

PhD Researcher 'Freedom to protest in China'
Job description

International NGOs remain critical of the limitations which apply to public protests in China. Nonetheless, more than 100.000 such protests take place in China every year and usually the protesters get their way. The research conducted by O‘Brien and Li (Rightful Resistance in China), Cai (Collective Resistance in China) and Chen (Social Protests and Contentious Authoritarianism in China) contains indications that there are a few receptors at work which in tandem pave the way for such protests to take place and to be successful. The PhD researcher taking care of this topic will uncover those receptors and will describe how they can be amplified to strengthen the already existing freedom of expression in China.

Profile
Candidates for this position are expected to have a master's degree, a background in anthropology, sociology or (cross-cultural) psychology with a focus on China, exemplified by a master's degree or equivalent experience in this area. Fluency in Mandarin and English, both spoken and in writing, as well as a profound understanding of Chinese culture is mandatory.
The researchers is expected to write a PhD thesis in a timely fashion under the supervision of the director of the Receptor Project, Prof. Tom Zwart; to participate in and contribute to the activities of the School; to enroll in the School’s PhD training program; and to prepare papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals. Approximately 80% of the time will be devoted to researching and writing the thesis, while 20% will be spent on other activities, including taking courses.

Offer
• Gross monthly salary starting at € 2,062 in the first year to € 2,638 in the fourth year of employment.

• The successful candidates will be offered an initial contract as a PhD student for 18 months. Upon positive evaluation of the PhD students’ performance the contract will be extended by 2,5 years.
• Pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year and flexible employment conditions.
Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

The starting date will be 1 September 2013. The PhD researcher will be based at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance of Utrecht University.

Application
Candidates should apply by filling out the electronic application form. Please attach your current CV, a cover letter outlining your motivation to do PhD research in this area, and a memo describing how you would approach the topic which you prefer.

PhD Researcher 'The receptor approach and public international law'
Job description
The PhD researcher covering this topic will look into the question if and how the receptor approach matches the requirements set by public international law regarding human rights. Thus, the receptor approach assumes that human rights may be implemented through non-legal means like culture and social institutions; that countries may retain their own – traditional – value system when they become signatories to human rights treaties; that the individual-versus-the-state paradigm is one but certainly not the only way to bring human rights to fruition; that the state can discharge its responsibility for implementing human rights obligations by leaving it mainly to non-state actors like the family and the community to realise human rights. The question is whether and how these elements of the receptor approach can be fitted into public international law regarding human rights.

Qualifications
Applicants for this position are expected to have a master's degree, profound knowledge of public international law regarding human rights, exemplified by having completed an LLM in this area. Having working experience within an international institution governed by public international law and being familiar with TWAIL and other critical approaches to international are considered assets in this regard.
The researchers is expected to write a PhD thesis in a timely fashion under the supervision of the director of the Receptor Project, Prof. Tom Zwart; to participate in and contribute to the activities of the School; to enroll in the School’s PhD training program; and to prepare papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals. Approximately 80% of the time will be devoted to researching and writing the thesis, while 20% will be spent on other activities, including taking courses.

Offer
• Gross monthly salary starting at € 2,062 in the first year to € 2,638 in the fourth year of employment.

• The successful candidates will be offered an initial contract as a PhD student for 18 months. Upon positive evaluation of the PhD students’ performance the contract will be extended by 2,5 years.
• Pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year and flexible employment conditions.
• Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

The starting date will be 1 September 2013. The PhD researchers will be based at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance of Utrecht University.

Application
Candidates should apply by filling out the electronic application form. Please attach your current CV, a cover letter outlining your motivation to do PhD research in this area, and a memo describing how you would approach the topic which you prefer.


PhD Researcher 'The existence of a Sino-African human rights approach'
Job description

Traditionally Western countries attach human rights conditions to development aid, as exemplified by the Cotonou Agreement. China does not attach similar strings to its assistance, and consequently commentators believe that China in this way is not furthering human rights. An explanation may also be that, since the Western philosophy towards human rights is different from the African one, while the Chinese approach is similar, Western countries need guarantees that their views on human rights will be taken on board by Africans, while China does not. The PhD researcher responsible for this topic will verify the hypothesis that such a shared Sino-African human rights outlook does exist and, if so, what its characteristics are. The receptor approach to human rights will be used as a tool to uncover such a joint outlook.

Profile
Applicants for this position are expected to have a master's degree, a profound knowledge of political science or international relations theory, or another discipline within the social sciences, exemplified by having completed a master's programme in this area. Candidates are expected to be intimately familiar with African and Chinese society or at least either one of them, and to have an extensive network in the region on which he or she can rely while conducting the research.
The researcher is expected to write a PhD thesis in a timely fashion under the supervision of the director of the Receptor Project, Prof. Tom Zwart; to participate in and contribute to the activities of the School; to enroll in the School’s PhD training program; and to prepare papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals. Approximately 80% of the time will be devoted to researching and writing the thesis, while 20% will be spent on other activities, including taking courses.

Offer
• Gross monthly salary starting at € 2,062 in the first year to € 2,638 in the fourth year of employment.
• The successful candidates will be offered an initial contract as a PhD student for 18 months. Upon positive evaluation of the PhD students’ performance the contract will be extended by 2,5 years.
• Pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year and flexible employment conditions.
• Conditions are based on the Collective Employment Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

The starting date will be 1 September 2013. The PhD researchers will be based at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance of Utrecht University.

Application
Candidates should apply by filling out the electronic application form. Please attach your current CV, a cover letter outlining your motivation to do PhD research in this area, and a memo describing how you would approach the topic which you prefer.


Additional information
Questions about the Receptor Project and the vacancies can be addressed to Tom Zwart (email: T.Zwart@uu.nl and phone +316 2705 2580).

5 comments: