The GIGA German Institute for Global and Area Studies / Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien is an independent social science research institute based in Hamburg, Germany. It analyses political, social, and economic developments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, and links this knowledge to questions of global significance. It combines region-specific analysis with innovative comparative research on accountability and participation, peace and security, globalisation and development, and global orders and foreign policies. The GIGA is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (m/f/d).
Applications are invited for a full-time position (100%), with a contract of three years, preferably starting 1 November 2021. The salary is commensurate with TV-AVH / TVöD EG 13.
The successful candidate will work in the project «COVID-19 and Executive Personalization in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the MENA Region» funded by the German Re-search Foundation / Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. This project is co-lead by Dr. David Kuehn, Prof. Mariana Llanos and Dr. Thomas Richter.
The successful candidate will
- contribute to the development of the conceptual and theoretical framework of execu-tive personalisation
- lead the preparation and conduct of a comparative, empirical analysis of personalisa-tion of executive power in the area of public health
- be an active member of the GIGA, be affiliated to the GIGA Institute of African Af-fairs, and belong to the Research Programme “Accountability and Participation”
- contribute to the academic output of the project with single-authored and co-authored publications in leading scientific journals
- engage in the dissemination of project findings within the academic as well as policy community, and among the wider public
- an excellent doctoral degree in political science, sociology, public policy, public health, economics, African studies or related disciplines
- a strong background in research on politics and/or society of sub-Saharan Africa
- on-site research experience in sub-Saharan Africa
- proven proficiency in the application of state-of-the-art comparative social science methods
- proficiency in English
- strong analytical skills
- strong teamwork skills
- experience in academic research on public health
- experience in research on autocratisation and/or democratisation
- experience in organizing academic events and outreach activities
- proficiency in additional languages spoken in sub-Saharan Africa
Part-time options will be considered, if so desired by the successful candidate. Diversity and the reconciliation of work and family life are of great importance to the institute. The GIGA promotes the equality of all genders.
Please fill out the application form (found at https://www.giga-hamburg.de/en/career/) and send it together with your full application (Ref.-No. GIGA-21-07) including relevant supporting documentation (cover letter, CV, credentials/diplomas/certificates, names and contact details of two references, list of publications, max. two work samples), as one PDF (except for the completed GIGA application form) to:
Gabriele Tetzlaff, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, 20354 Hamburg, Germany Email: email@example.com (email applications are particularly welcome).
Screening of applications will begin on 7 June 2021.
For further information, please visit the GIGA homepage or contact Dr. Thomas Richter (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
COVID-19 and Executive Personalization in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the MENA Region
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, political leaders reacted by containment measures that, next to combating the spread of the pandemic, also presented a window of opportunity to bolster executives’ personal grasp on power. Personalization of power has been particularly worrying in the Global South where constraints on the chief executives were often already weak prior to the pandemic. This project assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the personalization of executive power in 36 countries of the Global South. DFG, 2021-2024.
The project will answer the three following research questions:
(1) What is personalization of executive power; how can we operationalize and identify it empirically across regime types?
(2) What were/are the characteristics of the personalization of executive power before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the selected countries of the Global South?
(3) What explains the differences and similarities in the personalization of executive power across countries and over these periods, and what role does the COVID-19 pandemic play in that?
Contribution to International Research
By answering these questions, the project contributes to three bodies of academic scholarship: the burgeoning literature on democratic backsliding and autocratization; the emerging research that describes and explains the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on political developments across the world; and the diverse contributions from area studies that have long tracked the patterns and processes of the personalization of executive power in individual countries. In addition to the scholarly contribution, the project’s results will be crucially relevant for decision-makers, civil society actors, and citizens concerned about the recent trend of executive personalization and autocratization.
Research Design and Methods
This project pursues four research objectives. First, we develop a concept of the personalization of executive power that is applicable across regime types and different world regions. Second, we construct a theory of the personalization of executive power during the COVID-19 pandemic. Third, we collect empirical data on the personalization of executive power before and during the COVID-19 pandemic across 36 systematically selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East & North Africa (MENA region) and create the Personalization of Executive Power (PEXPower) dataset. Fourth, we draw on the PEXPower dataset and accompanying qualitative data to describe the impact of executive personalization before and during the COVID-19 pandemic across three policy areas in each country: public health, internal security, and economic policy. We identify differences and similarities across and within countries in our sample through a systematic, multi-method research design that integrates qualitative and quantitative methods.