ERC Funded Post-Doctoral Position

Koç University - Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology, Koç University, Istanbul, is currently inviting applications for a post-doctoral researcher position. The successful candidate will work with Assistant Professor Erdem Yörük on his European Research Council (ERC) funded project on the politics of welfare in emerging market economies.

The project investigates the political causes of welfare state development in emerging market economies (see and the brief summary of the project below). The project is building two databases: (i) welfare state database (the most comprehensive database in terms of countries, variables, and years covered); and (ii) protest events database on emerging markets (the creation of which employs artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing (NPL) methods on local news sources). The successful candidate is expected to conduct advanced quantitative analyses using these two databases, and other microdata sources, in order to test the hypotheses of the project.

Candidates with the following backgrounds are encouraged to apply: (i) PhD in a social science discipline (e.g. sociology, economics, political science, social policy, or public policy); (ii) extensive knowledge and experience in quantitative research methods; (iii) interest in welfare state studies, social movements, political economy, comparative-historical sociology, and emerging markets.

The successful candidate is expected to:

  • Have extensive knowledge and experience in advanced quantitative analysis, including time-series analysis, content analysis methods, and data cleaning and management operations.
  • Have working knowledge of Stata and/or R statistical software packages.
  • Have completed their PhD degree by the start date of the position.
  • Work with other research team members to co-author research articles on the topics of the grant.
  • Be comfortable working in an international environment and have no restrictions on travelling internationally.

The targeted start date of the position is September 2018. However, an earlier start date is negotiable. The initial term of the position is for a full year. Renewal of the position for up to three years is possible contingent on research productivity and continued substantive fit of the candidate. This is a full-time position with a competitive salary as well as additional benefits such as private health insurance and housing. Funding for conferences is available contingent on the relevance of the conference to the project. The position will not have any teaching responsibilities.

Please send your application electronically as a single pdf. file comprising your motivation letter, CV (including a list of publications), a writing sample which includes a quantitative empirical analysis, and two letters of recommendation to the Principal Investigator, Dr Erdem Yörük (send to both and The deadline for applications is February 28, 2018, but early applications are welcome.

The New Politics of Welfare: Towards an “Emerging Markets” Welfare State Regime (ERC Starting Grant)

This research project aims to identify a new welfare regime in emerging market economies and explain why it has emerged. The project will compare Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey to test two hypotheses: (i) emerging market economies are forming a new welfare regime that differs from liberal, corporatist, and social democratic welfare regimes of the global north on the basis of extensive and decommodifying social assistance programmes; (ii) the new welfare regime emerges principally as a response to the growing political power of the poor as a dual source of threat and support for governments.

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