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Associate Professor in Gender and Political Economy

Erasmus University Rotterdam - The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

The ISS invites applications for an Associate Professor in Gender and Political Economy. This post would suit a mid-career academic with a proven track record in research and teaching in the broad field of development studies and a particular focus on gender and political economy or gender and economic justice, and familiarity with their implications for human rights and/or conflict and peace studies. This position forms part of the ISS-wide research programme, Global Development and Social Justice, and of the teaching team that is responsible for the Major ‘Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspectives’ (SJP) in the ISS MA in Development Studies.

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) is a leading academic centre for international development studies. While based in The Hague, the ISS is part of Erasmus University Rotterdam. ISS was established in 1952 as a post-graduate institute of policy-oriented critical social science and development-oriented research. ISS offers a PhD in Development Studies, a 15,5 month MA in Development Studies, a joint MA in Public Policy (Mundus MAPP), a MPA in Governance delivered in Suriname, and post-graduate Diploma courses.

ISS brings together a highly diverse international community of scholars and students from both the global South and the global North, on average, originating from over 50 different countries. The Institute brings together people, ideas and insights in a multi-disciplinary setting which nurtures, fosters and promotes critical thinking and innovative research on fundamental social problems. The strong partnerships with organizations and individuals in developing countries make up a vibrant network where we co-create knowledge so that teaching and research remain socially relevant. Key to the ISS philosophy and practices is the wish to contribute to achieving social justice and equity on a global level.

The ISS Strategic Plan 2019-22 pursues developing ISS further into a research-intensive university institute in The Hague, focussing on academic excellence and high societal relevance of its research and teaching. ISS considers engagement that is linking research and teaching to society, to be an important task of the university.

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), named after the 15th century Rotterdam-born humanist and theologian Desiderius Erasmus, is a research university with a strong international orientation and a pronounced social focus, both in its education and research activities. The expertise of Erasmus University Rotterdam is concentrated in eight faculties or institutes focussing on Economics, Medicine and Health Sciences, Law, Social Sciences, History and Arts, Business Administration, Philosophy and Development Studies. In addition to initial degree programmes and scientific research, the University offers specific postgraduate study programmes and courses. Erasmus University has around 25,000 students and approximately 2,800 staff members comprising more than 100 nationalities.

The Academic Field of Gender and Political Economy

In light of the ‘cultural turn’ in social science and many social justice movements (including feminism), economic justice as a concept and a goal seems to have been forgotten, or relegated to the fringes of radical left politics. However, divisions between productive and reproductive, paid and unpaid, visible and invisible labour still persist. Contemporary economic globalization and long-term patterns of gendered and racialized capitalism have produced unprecedented levels of social inequalities within and across developed and developing countries, with winners and losers intersecting along the lines of gender, race, sexuality, citizenship and age, among others. Coupled with change in geo-political power relations, contemporary economic developments seem to go hand-in-hand with coloniality, militarisation, violence and displacement. ‘Peace economies’ in one part of the world rest on ‘war economies’ in another. All of these processes are marked by specific dynamics of femininity and masculinity, placing women and men of particular communities along the lines of economic privilege and oppression. What are these dynamics? How do they manifest at the global, national and local levels, in specific communities, countries, regions? And, what are ways to study and understand them with the goal of promoting gendered socio-economic justice?

The Major ‘Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspectives’ (SJP)  

The candidate’s main teaching base will be in the SJP Major which offers students ample possibilities to engage with different theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, critical reflections and key debates about gender, human rights, violent conflict and social mobilization, in relation to broader struggles for social justice. The Major goes beyond the normative, often oppositional or single-causality conceptualizations of social (in)justice(s). It examines complexities and the intertwining of economic, political, identity-based, material and discursive processes through which diverse inequalities, exclusions and asymmetries persist and are reproduced in societies. This involves, for instance, critically engaging with dichotomous representations of the local vs. the global, the personal vs. the political, individual vs. structural, universalist vs. relativist, as well as cultural vs. economic perspectives on social justice, and ensuing interventions and actions.

SJP has three specializations: Human Rights; Women and Gender Studies; and Conflict and Peace Studies. Lecturers draw on a variety of theoretical and epistemological perspectives and expertise in anthropology, sociology, international and national law, economics, cultural and religious studies and political science including international relations. They apply feminist, socio-legal, economic, ethnographic, anti/postcolonial, decolonial and non-extractivist methodologies. This diversity of perspectives and skills within the teaching team provides students with a wide array of ideas, views, experiences and case-studies from different parts of the world while at the same time ensuring that sufficient synergies remain. 

Expected Tasks in Teaching

The candidate is expected to contribute to teaching, development and evaluation of teaching in the Women and Gender Studies specialization and one other SJP related specialization (i.e. human rights or conflict and peace studies), as well as to participate in other teaching activities of the ISS, to take up MA supervisions, and to engage in coordination, management and other teaching duties in the Major and across ISS.

The Research Programme ‘Global Development and Social Justice’

All ISS staff members participate in the Institute’s research programme ‘Global Development and Social Justice’.  As part of its Research Strategy, the Institute currently pursues four multidisciplinary, cross-cutting research themes: environment and climate change; conflict and peace; social protection and inequality; and migration and diversity in both, post-colonial and Global North settings. Additionally, the ISS has a vibrant PhD programme with 140 PhD researchers. PhD researchers are often supervised by a team consisting of a professor and an associate or assistant professor.

The candidate will be affiliated with one of the ISS Research Groups. Depending on the candidate’s profile, this will most likely be either the Civic Innovation (CI) or the Governance, Law and Social Justice (GSLSJ) Research Group. 

Expected Tasks in Research

In its recent research evaluation, ISS received high ratings on academic excellence, societal relevance and viability of its research. The institute wants to maintain or exceed this level of performance and the candidate will be expected to contribute to this aim. The candidate will be expected to conduct and develop excellent research within the ISS research programme, collaborate with researchers in ISS, EUR and outside, publish, acquire external funding, contribute to societal relevance of research, co-supervise PhD researchers, and engage in management and other duties in the research programme.

Expected Tasks in Engagement

The candidate is expected to be able to embed and link research and teaching activities to societal developments, in the global South and/or in the global North. Valorisation, contributions to public debate and capacity building projects are also part of the engagement tasks to which the candidate will be expected to contribute.

Required Skills and Expertise

We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • An academic background (including a PhD) in gender studies and development economics/political economy, and familiarity with one or more other relevant social sciences (such as conflict studies, political science, sociology, or human geography);
  • A strong intersectional perspective on gender;
  • Knowledge of development practices;
  • Excellent and proven academic research skills, including a strong publication record and research interest in the broad field of gender and political economy or gender and economic justice;
  • Practical experience with relevant research in the Global South;
  • Demonstrated capacity to acquire and manage research funding;
  • A documented teaching record in the same field; and demonstrated capacity and skills in teaching MA students and MA thesis supervisions;
  • Ability to contribute to teaching in at least one other specialization area within the SJP Major (i.e. Human Rights, or Conflict and Peace Studies) and the broader ISS MA in development studies;
  • Ability to teach in courses on research methodology, e.g. mixed methods of social science research;
  • Experience in management of a post-graduate programme;
  • Possession of BKO certificate (BasisKwalificatieOnderwijs) = Teaching in Higher Education qualification) or willingness to obtain this qualification soon after joining ISS;
  • Ability to engage with relevant non-academic actors by demonstrating the societal relevance of academic research, including e.g. by contributions to public debate.
  • Ability to conduct or contribute to advisory and capacity building/development programs and to attract external finances for such programs;
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to teaching, research and service in multicultural environments.

Required competences (see overview vsnu competences

Proven (with examples): 

  1. Orientation on developments outside ISS and EUR
  2. Clear vision regarding gender and political economy
  3. Persuasiveness
  4. Managing for results
  5. Working in teams, in collaboration / cooperation

The International Institute of Social Studies is committed to building and sustaining a community based on inclusiveness, equity and diversity and the ISS community believes this will contribute to the ISS mission and vision of being the best institute in its field. ISS is an equal opportunities employer and we encourage applications from candidates of all genders, ethnicities and nationalities. Given the current composition of the ISS and the SJP academic staff team, and priorities relating to staff diversity, the Institute has a preference for applicants originating from the Global South and also encourages applications from minority candidates.

Conditions of Employment

The selected candidate will be offered a contract at the level of Associate Professor and will be invited to start as soon as possible.

In accordance with the conditions applied at Erasmus University Rotterdam as indicated in the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO NU) of the Dutch universities, the salary is dependent on the candidate’s experience and is set at a maximum of CAO NU scale 13 with a maximum of € 6.133,- gross per month, on a fulltime basis. In addition, EUR pays an 8% holiday allowance and an end-of-year payment of 8.3% and offers excellent secondary benefits.

Please submit your application documents, including a CV, a motivation letter, a syllabus of a course you have taught relevant for this position, a writing sample (article length) and a 2-3 page description of areas you would like to focus on in your teaching and research in the coming three years, by email to Deadline for submitting your application is 1 May 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews in the week of 3 or 17 June 2019.


Additional information can be received by contacting Professor K. Arts, Chair of the Selection Committee via email:

Location: The Hague - Netherlands
Salary: Up to €6,133
Up to £5,454.70 converted salary* gross per month, dependent on experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 8th March 2019
Closes: 1st May 2019
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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