PhD Position in Transitional Justice, NIOD, Netherlands

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PhD candidate Transitional Justice, Full-time for four years
“Understanding the Age of Transitional Justice: Narratives in a Historical Perspective”

The general goal of the NIOD program on Transitional justice is to contribute to understanding the impact and aftermath of mass state-sponsored human rights violations on post-genocidal, post-conflict, post-repressive societies. In pursuit of a conceptualization of generic mechanisms and factors that influence genocidal crimes and the subsequent transitional justice processes, this program opts for the portal of the personal, the legal, and the political narrative. It will examine the various phases and levels at which testimonies, or narratives of events, play a role in influencing the form of TJ undertaken by a given post-repressive society.

The levels may be distinguished as follows:

  • The victims (the individuals telling their story)
  • The institutions for the administration of Transitional Justice (the narrative of judicial and extra-judicial authorities)
  • The validators, or ‘form-givers’ – political elites, media, police, and other relevant actors – who selectively frame the public debate and impart the narratives and the use of narratives (produced in trials, vetting procedures, truth commissions, NGO-sponsored oral histories) with a particular political and social significance.

A dynamic multi-leveled approach that aims to reveal the interaction between the testimonies, the formality of processing them, and the developing political system should shed light on the individual, psychological, social, and political impact/consequences of TJ processes. The NIOD has created a PhD position in order to study the role, impact, and significance of testimonies in transitional justice.

Qualified candidates are invited to send a one-page proposal (max. 500 words) on the research they propose to conduct, dealing with cases, possibly a comparison of cases, connected to this general topic, within the framework of the NIOD TJ program.

Job requirements

  • Master’s in History, Law, or Social- and Political Sciences
  • Professional experience on topics related to the program
  • Self-reliant
  • Experience with modern information technology
  • Professional attitude with excellent communication skills
  • Fluent English
  • Skilled in the development of proposals which could, via the content, design, and execution, fundamentally augment the Transitional Justice program

This is a fulltime position of 38 hours per week for a period of four years at the NIOD (contingent upon a one-year trial period). The successful candidate must prepare a PhD thesis to be defended at the University of Amsterdam.

We offer:
The NIOD offers an informal, internationally-oriented working environment with a great deal of room for individual initiative and responsibility. The salary for a full-time position is € 2,042.00 per month gross (scale: doctoral student, collective labour agreement Dutch Universities), excluding 8% vacation bonus and an 8.3% end-of-the-year bonus. There is an additional extensive secondary benefits packet.

More information
The Transitional Justice Research Agenda can be viewed at our website at Inquiries may be directed to the Transitional Justice Program Leader at the NIOD, Dr. Nanci Adler, e-mail address For more information about the appointment, please contact Mr. William Arink, Business Director, e-mail address The NIOD can be contacted at +31 (0)20-523 3800.

We welcome your proposal, accompanied by an explanatory letter of intent and CV, all in English. Please submit them to, attention Mr. W. Arink, with the subject line “Vacancy PhD Candidate TJ”. Closing date is 25 July, 2011. Interviews will take place in the second and third weeks of September. If all other factors are equal, preference will be given to internal candidates.

Please no reactions from recruiters.
NIOD is an institute belonging to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and correct. However, applicants should contact the appropriate administering body before making an application, as details do change frequently.


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