Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Dynamics of De Facto State Patron-Client Relations
University of York Department of Politics
United Kingdom

Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Dynamics of de facto state patron-client relations

Based at:University of York and other locations
Hours of work:Full-time
Contract status:Fixed term
Salary:33,797 (in the UK) / NOK 583,900 (in Norway)
Interview Date:week commencing 26 October 2020
Posted Date:22/09/2020
Apply by:19/10/2020
Job Reference:8830

Role Description

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the Department of Politics, University of York, are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join the team of researchers on the project “Dynamics of de facto state patron–client relations (DeFacto),” funded by the Research Council of Norway.

NUPI holds a leading position in research and information on international political and economic matters and on issues central to Norwegian foreign policy. The staff counts approximately 70 people, divided between academic and administration/communications staff.

The Department of Politics, University of York, is one of the leading centres for research and teaching politics in the United Kingdom. It was ranked eighth in the country for its research performance in the 2014 REF.

About the De Facto project

De facto states, states that exist despite having failed to win international recognition, live a precarious existence. Almost all de facto states that survive for some time have a powerful “patron” that provides security guarantees and economic support. This has resulted in the de facto states frequently being brushed off as hapless pawns in their patron's power play. In “DeFacto” we challenge this assumption, examining what room de facto states have for independent agency. Our goal is to develop a new model for understanding de facto state patron-client relations. For more on the project and the team, see

We seek a candidate with experience and ability to conduct empirical studies and field research on the role of the patron in de facto state patron–client relations. The project covers eight de facto states: Abkhazia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, Taiwan and Transnistria. The postdoc would be responsible for researching and writing 3 articles (one single-authored and two co-authored) covering the patron perspective in one or more of these cases.

The fellowship will be realized in cooperation with the University of York. For the first full year (starting from 1 January 2021) the position will be based at NUPI in Oslo, Norway; the second year at the Department of Politics, University of York, UK.

 Qualifications for the position

  • PhD in political science or related discipline
  • Experience from empirical/field research in de facto states
  • Good communication and teamwork skills
  • Fluency in English, written and oral (knowledge of other languages relevant for the study in question considered a plus)
  • Experience in qualitative or quantitative methods (facility in both is an advantage)

 We offer:

  • An exciting opportunity to be part of an international multidisciplinary research project and to work closely with the project’s core team of researchers
  • Mobility, allowing the successful candidate to work both at research institute on international affairs in Norway and at the University of York in the UK
  • Financial support for fieldwork, conference travel and publication support

Salary and Conditions


-          NOK 583,900 a year (pay grade 65)
-          Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund 

University of York:

-          £33,797 a year (grade 6, spine point 30)
-          Membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme

NUPI and the University of York are equal opportunity employers that value staff diversity. Women and persons with minority background are particularly encouraged to apply.

The successful applicant will sign two separate employment contracts: one with NUPI and one with the University of York

The application deadline is 19 October 2020.  Expected start date is January 2021.

We accept only applications via JobbNorge.  Please apply via the following link:

The application in the JobbNorge application portal requires:

  • Cover letter (max 1 page)
  • A proposed research plan, describing how you could apply previous experiences, scholarly concepts, and methods (max 4 pages)
  • CV with publication list (max 5 pages)
  • Transcripts from bachelor’s degree and higher
  • Names of three references (at least one from academia/research), including phone numbers and e-mail addresses

In order to be considered for the position, the candidate must have submitted their PhD thesis by the application deadline.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to submit publications.

For questions, contact HR Advisor Elin O. Demiraslan or PI Helge Blakkisrud

The University is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community  – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, campus facilities and services to support staff from different backgrounds.

A place where we can ALL be ourselves #EqualityatYork

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Socioloxy


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