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Postdoc position within the research project ''Populism and Democratic Defence in Europe

he Department of Political Science at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, invites applications for a 2-year postdoctoral position offering applicants an exciting opportunity to join a new research project entitled "Populism and Democratic Defence in Europe".

The starting date is 1 January 2021 or subject to mutual agreement.

The research project
The aim of the project is to integrate empirical and normative studies to investigate how liberal democracies can respond effectively and legitimate to the challenges that populist parties constitute to liberal democracy in Europe. Populist parties are typically not opposed to democracy tout court but to liberal institutions, such as independent courts. Their aim is to obtain, through elections, a democratic mandate to dismantle liberal institutions. The project studies not only legal measures opposing populist parties but also political and cultural ones and it studies domestic measures as well as measures undertaken by trans- and supranational actors in Europe, especially the European Union.

The project involves 5 partner institutions: Roskilde University, University of Warsaw, University of Wroclaw, Lund University and Aarhus University. It includes 3 research teams focusing on empirical studies of Central and Eastern Europe, Western Europe and on normative Political Theory. Please visit the project website here:

Job description
We are looking for a highly motivated researcher who will work on the project in the Political theory team, consisting of Anthoula Malkopoulou, Lund University, and Fabio Wolkenstein and Tore Vincents Olsen, Aarhus University. The team will also be joined by PhD candidate placed in Lund. The project is funded by The Carlsberg Foundation with a 7.5 million DKK grant.

The project is set up as an interdependent and collaborative endeavor between project participants and the researcher will be participating in regular online and onsite research workshops. The project also funds conference participation. In addition, the successful applicant will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities at the Political Science department. The candidate is expected to conduct research regarding the normative legitimacy of regulation of free speech and of civil society organizations and political parties with the purpose of protecting and promoting the values and institutions of liberal democracy. The candidate may also undertake a small amount of teaching (equivalent to one course per year).

Your qualifications
Eligible candidates must have:

  • A PhD in philosophy, political science, law or another discipline related to the project (or provide documentation about being close to completion)
  • Experience in independent research
  • Experience with collaborating and working together with others in a team
  • An excellent command of spoken and written English
  • A compelling and relevant research proposal

It is desirable if candidates have:
  • Have pursued research directly relevant to the research project (e.g. populism, militant democracy, democratic values, freedom of speech, the role of civil society organisations and political parties in democracy)
  • Proven experience of publishing high-quality research articles commensurate with career stage

Interested candidates should provide a short research proposal (max. 2 pages), outlining potential avenues for research related to the overall project. Please see the section below about application procedure for the further requirements for the application.

Further information
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Associate Professors Tore Vincents Olsen per email: or Fabio Wolkenstein per email: prior to submitting their application to learn more about the post.

If applicants need help uploading the application or have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR-supporter Anne Arnfeldt Ka¨llberg, Tel: +45 8715 3631, email

Who we are
The Department of Political Science is one of the six departments at Aarhus BSS - one of the five faculties at Aarhus University. Aarhus BSS unites the business and social science-related research fields and brings them closer together to reflect the close relationship between society and the business community. As part of a Top 100 university, Aarhus BSS and the Department of Political Science have achieved the distinguished AASCB, AMBA and EQUIS accreditations.

At the Department of Political Science, we emphasise a dynamic and flexible research and teaching profile characterised by pluralism and openness. With around 100 academic staff members and 45-50 PhD students, we offer a lively and ambitious research and teaching environment.

The research carried out at the department not only covers a variety of political science disciplines, but also represents a broad scope of methodological approaches. This not only enables us to focus on new problem areas as they appear on the national and international political arenas, but also allows us to contribute actively to the development of the discipline. We also emphasise communicating our research results to the political-administrative system and to the public in general.

For more information about the Department of Political Science, please visit:

Place of work
Department of Political Science, Bartholins Alle´ 7, DK - 8000 Aarhus C

International applicant?
Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners: Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here:

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here:

Terms of employment
The appointment is made in accordance with the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities as well as the circular on the Collective Agreement for Academics Employed by the State (in Danish).
The job content and qualification requirements are described in further detail in the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Application procedure
When you apply for this position it is mandatory to attach the following:
  • Application
  • Curriculum Vitae. You are encouraged to declare any periods of leave without research activity, including, for example, maternity leave, since your research activities are assessed in relation to your actual research time
  • Education (diploma for master's, PhD and possibly higher doctoral degree)
  • List of publications (the enclosed publications must be clearly marked on the list of publications)
  • Publications. Up to three publications can be included in the application. In the event of several authors the publications must be accompanied by a co-author statement concerning the applicant's share of the collaborative work with the consent of the co-authors. Please use this template
  • Teaching portfolio. The specific requirements regarding the documentation can be found here

Materials which cannot be uploaded together with the application may be submitted in three copies to Aarhus BSS HR & PhD, Aarhus University, Tåsingegade 1, 2nd floor, DK-8000 Aarhus C.

Read more about how to apply for an academic post at Aarhus BSS here

The evaluation process
After the application deadline, an assessment committee is appointed. Please note that the assessment of applicants is based solely on the material received prior to the application deadline. For further information, see Guidelines for Assessment Committee, Aarhus BSS.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply regardless of personal background.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at


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