4 PhD vacancies in the social sciences at universities in the Netherlands.
Description of Research Program ‘From Clients to Citizens? Emerging Citizenship in Democratising Indonesia’
Democratic citizenship refers to the capacity and willingness of citizens to actively influence the functioning of state institutions. It is considered a vital correlate of democratization and the rule of law. But its largely western-oriented literature rarely studies the forms of democratic citizenship that emerge in the context of a weakly institutionalized state and a largely clientelistic political system. Citizenship is hardly studied in Southeast Asia, as the concept was long considered inadequate to describe the hierarchical and clientelistic relations that characterized much state-citizen interaction during and before the New Order. Yet the nature of Indonesia’s democratization process makes it necessary to go beyond the more common elite-focused research on Indonesian politics.
From Clients to Citizens? is funded by Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology and the Ministry of Education and Culture. It is jointly and led by prof. dr. Bambang Purwanto (UGM) and Prof. H. Schulte Nordholt (KITLV). The research program studies the way citizenship is perceived and practiced by ordinary Indonesians and aims to understand the impact of Indonesia’s democratization process on everyday state-citizen interaction: to what extent is Indonesia’s democratic transition changing the way ordinary Indonesians relate to the state in terms of citizenship? How can we explain both the changes and the continuities?
Under this program, four PhD scholarships at the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University (the Netherlands) are available for the study of four key citizenship struggles in contemporary Indonesia:
- From kawula to village citizen: Village Leadership and Public Service Delivery in Rural Indonesia. (University of Amsterdam)
Through a (partial) restudy of ethnographic studies of village politics under the New Order, this project examines the changing norms and practices that villagers adopt vis-a-vis village elites and asks to what extent the authority and power that village and supra-village leaders wielded during the New Order have been curtailed and whether older hierarchical relations are becoming more symmetrical.
- Realizing Welfare Rights? The Collectivization of Social Security in Indonesia (University of Amsterdam)
This project studies the contemporary politics as well as the history of social security reform in Indonesia. To what extent does the evolving public debate on social security reflect changes interpretations of citizenship in Indonesia? And to what extent are common Indonesians actually turning away from informal trust networks towards the state to address adversities such as sickness, health and death?
- Digital Citizenship and online civic action: New Forms of Public Action and Accountability? (Leiden University)
This project investigates the ways in which digital/social media are deployed in internet-based campaigns against corruption and judicial failure. The overarching question of this project is how the avid and often creative use of digitalized media in anti-corruption campaigns contributes to the consolidation of a viable public sphere, the fostering and conceptualization of new forms of citizenship and collective action, and offers alternatives to and/or challenges the largely elite-driven politics of the country.
- Pious Citizens: Islam in Indonesia’s Public Sphere (University of Amsterdam)
Democratization in post-Suharto Indonesia has witnessed the simultaneous expansion of the public sphere and the emergence of political Islam. Focusing on three debates involving the role of Islam in public life – on the adoption of religious bylaws, the anti-pornography law and on the building of churches – this project studies how the rise of political Islam is affecting the nature and conceptualization of citizenship in Indonesia.
The PhD candidates are expected to do research and publish on the basis of the research, culminating in a PhD dissertation.
The PhD candidate should:
- Hold a recent Master’s degree in the social sciences or humanities (anthropology, political science, sociology, history, law). A master thesis on a topic related to citizenship and above-mentioned themes is an advantage;
- Excel academically, as shown in the grade transcripts and curriculum vitae;
- Have an excellent written and spoken command of English, evidenced by a recent TOEFL, IELTS proficiency test – see here for the entry requirements.
- Have knowledge and interest in field research;
- Have the ability and interest to work in a team of academics and practitioners.
The selection of the PhD candidates will take place in two stages:
Firstly, promising candidates will be invited to participate in a short intensive course with on researching citizenship and writing research proposals. This will be held from 3 September to 11 September 2012 at UGM in Yogyakarta. Travel costs and accommodation will be funded for selected candidates.
Secondly, during and after this intensive course the candidates will write a research proposal, to be submitted by October 15. The final selection will take place on the basis of this research proposal.
The PhD students will receive a Dikti scholarship of approx. €1000 per month plus various benefits. The position starts 1 April 2013, and is initially for 1 year. Extension of the contract after the first year to a total of four years is subject to satisfactory performance. During the four years the PhD candidate will conduct fieldwork in Indonesia, while also spending approx. 2 ½ years in the Netherlands at either the University of Amsterdam or Leiden University.
From Clients to Citizens? Emerging Citizenship in Indonesia is funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences KNAW and the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture under the Scientific Program Netherlands-Indonesia (SPIN). Institutes participating in the research program include the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV, Prof. dr. Henk Schulte Nordholt, Dr. Gerry van Klinken, Dr. Ward Berenschot), Leiden University (Prof. Dr. Patricia Spyer), University of Amsterdam (Prof. Dr. Willem van Schendel), Gadjah Mada University (Prof. Dr. Bambang Purwanto, Dr. Muhammed Najib Azca, Dr. Nico Warouw and Dr. Pujo Semedi). Coordination takes place through KITLV (www.kitlv.nl).
A detailed description of the research program and the above-mentioned subprojects may be obtained at the project’s website, http://www.kitlv.nl/home/Projects?id=26 .
For further information about the project and the application procedure please refer to the website or contact the program coordinator Dr. Ward Berenschot (berenschot[at]kitlv.nl).
Applications with motivation letter, curriculum vitae, grade transcripts and evidence of English proficiency test score are to be addressed electronically to clientstocitizens[at]gmail.com. The deadline for applications is 5 august 2012. Positions may remain open beyond that date until filled.
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