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PhD Scholarship: The Vulnerable State: Appraising the Ambivalent Economies of State Power

University of Warwick

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Coventry
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £17,668 tax-free stipend per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 21st October 2022
Closes: 12th January 2023

Supervisors:  Prof. Ana Aliverti (WLS), Dr. Henrique Carvalho (WLS) and Dr. Anastasia Chamberlen (Sociology)

Start date: October 2023

Duration: 3 years

The project: The Vulnerable State: Appraising the Ambivalent Economies of State Power

This project explores the ambivalent and shifting governance of socially marginalised groups in two domains: the criminal and administrative justice. Comprised of four sub-projects, the overall project seeks to answer the following research questions:

  1. How and with what effects have the ‘humanitarian’ and ‘punitive’ turns shaped public policy and institutional practices in the governance of the disadvantaged in different institutional domains?
  2. What are the contradictions and dilemmas that these ambivalent moral and affective economies animate among frontline staff, how do these staff navigate them, and how are these staff affected by the burden of enacting state power at the ground level?
  3. How far can humanitarianism lay the foundations for rethinking state power through more humane forms of governance?

This project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and the successful candidates will join an interdisciplinary team with academics from the Law School and Sociology.

We are accepting applications for two funded PhD scholarships to start in October 2023. One scholarship is for a project on the police (1) and another scholarship is for a project on immigration courts (2).

  • 1) This doctoral project will entail research in one large regional police force. Through ethnographic research on frontline staff and visual analysis of printed and digital material, it will assess the impact of the ‘vulnerability agenda’ on police priorities, staff roles and routines, and their relationship with other agencies and the public.
  • 2) This doctoral project will focus on ethnographic work in 2 courts and will focus on asylum appeal cases and their adjudication. It will examine the rationale and choice of language of judicial decisions, paying particular attention to how moral judgments on the merits of the claim and the deservingness of the claimant are articulated through legal arguments.

As part of the broader Vulnerable State project, the two successful candidates will conduct fieldwork and write their dissertation following University of Warwick doctoral requirements and protocols. The doctoral students will be active participants of the research team and will meet monthly the PhD supervisors to discuss progress and findings. The PhD candidates’ research and findings will be integrated into the overall project’s outputs and activities, e.g., in the form of a collective volume. The doctoral researchers will have opportunities to engage in other co-authored publications too and will be encouraged to produce monographs emerging from the PhD studies.

The doctoral students will be expected to act as both part of this team, but also lead autonomously their PhD projects.

For further information or to discuss a research proposal, please contact Ana Aliverti a.aliverti@warwick.ac.uk

Eligibility:

Candidates must have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree in   Anthropology, Sociology, Criminology, or other relevant Social Sciences discipline. An interest and background on criminal justice, policing and/or immigration law and practice will be an advantage.

Funding:

The award will cover tuition fees at the UK fee level, plus a tax-free stipend of £17,668  per annum for 3 years of full-time study, fieldwork expenses and conference attendance to present research.  International students are welcome to apply but must meet the fee difference themselves .

How to apply:

Candidates should submit an expression of interest by submitting the following documents :

  • A CV (no more than 3 pages)
  • A personal statement document of no more than 500 words to include an explanation of your interest in this research area, outlining your relevant experience and existing knowledge of this research area.
  • A research proposal outlining how you would conceptually develop, methodologically design, and conduct either of the 2 studies (policing or immigration courts). This should not exceed 1500 words including references.

Please send these to Ana Aliverti a.aliverti@warwick.ac.uk

If this initial application is successful, we will invite you to make a formal application for study. All candidates must fulfil the University of Warwick entry criteria and obtain an unconditional offer before commencing enrolment.

Deadline for applications is 4pm UK time on Thursday 12 January. All materials must be supplied by this deadline.

Entry requirements

Applicants need to meet the University of Warwick’s standard entry requirements. In addition this project includes some specific requirements. The successful candidate will also have to apply for the appropriate visa (if necessary) in a timely manner and be available for the start of the studentship in October 2023.

The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 20.

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