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Two Postdoctoral Positions in International Law for the EASTERNISATION Research Project

University of Copenhagen - Law

The Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, invites applications for 2 postdoctoral positions in International Law. The positions are part of the EASTERNISATION Project Power Shifts and Regionalization of International Law” (with a focus on Russia and China) funded by the Danish Independent Research Fund.
Both positions are available from 1 June 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter, for a duration of 1,5 years. Postdoctoral researchers will be affiliated with the Faculty’s Research Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies (CECS).


In 2020, the EASTERNISATION project was originally conceived to examine the role that Russia and China played in the process of regionalization of international law (IL), and the impact that the process exerted on the stability of the international legal order (ILO). The recent turbulent developments, i.e. Russia’s unprovoked aggressive war against Ukraine and the resurgence of China’s belligerent rhetoric against Taiwan, demonstrate that regionalisation of IL – the use of IL as a tool to justify ambitious geopolitical goals in order to establish regional hegemony – is wreaking havoc on the existing ILO. Notwithstanding vocal condemnation of Russian and Chinese violations of IL by the international community, both countries vehemently deny that any of their actions are contrary to international law.  The project aims to trace the trajectory of evolving Russian and Chinese narratives of international law from after the creation of the post-World War II order until modern times, which they have promoted to lend legitimacy to their military actions and foreign policy decisions. It will examine Russian and Chinese efforts to refute the universality of a human rights-oriented Western doctrine of IL and their adoption of a sovereignty-centred doctrine of IL, which stands in stark contrast to the countries’ actual belligerent conduct towards their neighbours.

The project will build on two major pillars: (1) conceptualisation of IL (theoretical inquiry); and (2) contestation of IL (practice-oriented inquiry). The combination of the theoretical (what is IL in China and Russia?) and practical aspects of the research inquiry (how is IL applied by Russia and China?), coupled with a comparison to the Western approaches to IL, intend to provide a holistic picture of the impact of the regionalization of IL on the existing ILO. The ambition of the project is to offer reflections on (1) emerging similarities and differences between Russian and Chinese approaches to IL following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the backdrop of the evolution of legal thinking and IL practice in both countries; (1) necessary measures to be adopted by the international community to prevent a further breakdown of the ILO as a result of the process of the regionalization of IL pursued by Russia and China; and (2) the future of the discipline of IL affected by such processes. 

About the position

Two postdoctoral researchers will be hired as part of this project for a period of 1,5 years. One postdoctoral researcher (postdoc on Russia) will focus on the study of the evolution of Russian narratives of IL through the prism of the regionalization of IL, whereas another postdoctoral researcher (postdoc on China) will carry out a similar theoretical inquiry with respect to China. The project will be anchored at the Faculty’s Centre for European and Comparative Legal Studies (CECS) within the research pillar of ‘Challenges to International Legal Order and Global Governance’.

Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Faculty's research areas and education programmes by visiting the Faculty’s website:

Required qualifications

The position requires academic qualifications (i.e. PhD, JSD or equivalent degree) in law or international relations. All applicants are expected to be able to use English as their working language (written and spoken). They need to demonstrate a clear potential to deliver high-quality peer-reviewed research publications. A successful candidate for the postdoc position on Russia is expected to have interest and expertise in Russia and a prior background in IL or international relations (IR). The knowledge of Russian will be considered an asset, as well as the previous research on Russia’s interpretation and application of IL.  Similar criteria apply for the postdoc position on China, however, the proficiency in Chinese Mandarin is a must, which is necessary to gain access to original sources.

In the overall assessment, emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s research and teaching potential. Special emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s ambition to develop and implement new research ideas, which may have an international impact. Furthermore, the Faculty places emphasis on the applicant’s interest and preferably, prior experience, in working with other researchers to conduct collective research and teaching activities, and welcomes the applicant’s proven ability to make a valuable contribution in this regard.

Salary and terms of employment

The appointment is temporary and will be made in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikernes Centralorganisation, AC). In addition to the basic salary, you will receive an annual supplement per month and a total contribution to your pension fund equal to 17,1 % of your salary. It is possible to negotiate further salary supplements. 


Letter of motivation, appendices and the submitted research publications (including papers, articles and books) must be written in English. The application will be rejected if all the required documents are not submitted.

It is essential that you fill out all the mandatory fields in the electronic application even though the information has already been provided in your CV, application, publication or other material you have uploaded. The completed fields will be screened during the shortlisting and assessment process and in order to generate your final assessment, which we will send to you after the assessment work is finalized.

The application MUST include the following nine (9) elements:

  1. Letter of motivation (a one-page document explaining the reasons for applying).
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. Research project. Applications should include a proposal for a research project to be completed during the postdoctoral period. Proposals should be no more than four pages long. The proposal should demonstrate the capacity to develop a postdoctoral project, identifying the relevant methodological tools to achieve the outlined project. 
  4. Diplomas, PhD or JSD diploma or alternatively a document showing that the applicant submitted or will submit a dissertation in the near future.  
  5. Publication list (complete, numbered list of publications).
  6. Teaching portfolio, including documentation for teaching qualifications as well as a brief statement of the applicant's teaching visions within the research area. For more information regarding the teaching portfolio, please see the related guidelines
  7. Academic references, if available (please upload under “other relevant material”).
  8. A maximum of five (5) scientific publications that the applicant wishes to have included in the assessment, of which no more than one (1) may be a monograph. Applicants, who have written a PhD or JSD thesis or equivalent, must always submit the complete thesis (if the thesis is written in Danish, English, Swedish or Norwegian) and the written assessment of the thesis as part of the submitted publications.
  9. If citing work where the applicant has been a co-author, a co-author declaration, which addresses the applicant's share of these works, must be submitted. Material that has not yet been published can be submitted. However, please indicate if this is the case.

In addition to the material which the applicant wishes to be included in the assessment, the Assessment Committee may require further material to assess the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide such supplementary material, should this be requested.

Application procedure

Upload the letter of motivation, appendices and the research publications electronically using the link below. We advise you to have the above-mentioned documents ready before you begin to fill out your online application, and it is essential that all required documents are enclosed.

Applications must be addressed to the Associate Dean of Research and uploaded electronically.

An automatically generated message is sent out acknowledging receipt of the uploaded application.

Applicants will be kept informed about the process of the application procedure on a regular basis via email.

Following the application deadline, the Associate Dean of Research selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Appointment Committee. Applicants are selected on the basis of an overall assessment of the applications that best match the specific recruitment needs of the Faculty as described in this advertisement for the post. This is compared with the applicant’s research and teaching profile as set out in the application, CV incl. list of publications, teaching portfolio and a research/development plan.  All applicants are then immediately notified whether their application has been passed for assessment by an expert Assessment Committee. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee. When the committee has completed its assessment, each applicant has the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that relates to the applicant himself/herself.

The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the surrounding society and therefore encourages all interested parties regardless of personal background to apply for the position.

Questions about the project should be addressed to Associate Professor Iryna Marchuk at

Further information about the recruitment process is available from HR, e-mail: Please refer to ID number 211-1322/23-2I. 

The application deadline is 15 April 2023, 23:59 GMT+1.

Applications received after the deadline has expired will not be accepted.

If your application does not include all the required supporting documents, your application will be rejected and not considered by the assessment committee.

The Faculty of Law is one of six faculties at the University of Copenhagen. The Faculty carries out research, education and knowledge dissemination within the area of law. Research is partly organized in research centres and groups with a focus on thematic areas of interest. The Faculty employs about 115 researchers and approx. 60 PhD students, as well as approx. 75 administrative staff members. In addition, approx. 400 part-time lecturers teach in the legal programmes that enroll approx. 4,500 students. See the Faculty for more information

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.
Location: Copenhagen - Denmark
Salary: Made in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikernes Centralorganisation, AC)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 1st April 2023
Closes: 15th April 2023
Job Ref: 211-1322/23-2I
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