(Source: Universiteit Leiden)
We learned of four positions at Leiden University within the new ERC-funded project “Challenging the Liberal World Order from Within: The Invisible History of the United Nations and the Global South”.
The three PhD projects are:
PhD project 1: African Activism at the UN
This project will be carried out by a candidate with expertise in African history. Knowledge of the French language is essential, knowledge of relevant African and other languages will be an advantage.
This PhD project will examine the contributions of 2-3 small to large states in Eastern and Western Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania) in the thematic areas. They will define what perceptions of the UN were, the relationship of these countries to others in the region and internationally (especially considering the interplay between Pan-Africanism and African nationalism) and what their role was in developing agendas for reform. This project will trace the contribution of these countries to developments in the area of decolonization, economic development and human rights and should draw connections between the selected cases and other actors in Asia and Latin America. In particular, the project should highlight different African conceptions of decolonization and show how these played out in the general debates at the UN, providing a precursor for economic development and human rights. The PhD researcher will conduct relevant research in national African archives, UN archives and relevant archives of non-state actors such as the African Union in Addis Ababa.
PhD project 2: Beyond Bandung, Asia at the UN
This project will be carried out by a candidate with expertise in the history of Asia and/or South-East Asia. Knowledge of the relevant languages will be an advantage.
This PhD project will examine the contributions of 2-3 small to large states in Asia/South East Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Thailand) in the thematic areas. The research must include either China or India (with a preference for both) among other countries. The project will examine the contributions of these actors to decolonization, economic sovereignty and human rights generally, before focusing on one key aspect. In particular, the project should examine how the role of Asian states evolved from the Bandung moment in 1955, to their strong role in contesting the meaning of development in the 1970s. The candidate will conduct relevant research in national Asian and UN archives, especially ECOSOC and UNCTAD and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi and the archives of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok among other non-state archives.
PhD project 3: Latin America and the UN
This project will be carried out by a candidate with expertise in the history of Latin America. Knowledge of the Spanish language will be essential, knowledge of Portuguese will be an advantage.
This PhD project will examine the contributions of 2-3 small to large states in Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador) and the Caribbean nations. The project will analyze the contributions of the selected actors to decolonization, economic development and human rights. In particular, it will investigate how Latin American actors forged alliances with African and Asian counterparts at the UN around issues of economic development. It will trace the emergence of the agenda for the creation of UNCTAD and examine how this was transformed into a wider crusade for the NIEO. It will also investigate how meanings of human rights were contested and examine in particular the contributions of the actors to the creation of the ICESCR. The candidate will conduct research in relevant national archives and the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean in Santiago. They will also conduct research in the archives of ECOSOC, UNCTAD, Frondizi Archives, Centro de Estudios Nacionales, Buenos Aires and Raúl Prebisch Papers, Prebisch Foundation, Buenos Aires, among others.
The Post Doc project:
Postdoc researcher: The United Nations as a Dynamic Globalizing Force
The main aim of this project is to reveal and unravel the invisible histories of the UN, transcending the dominant Western perspective to recover the historical agency of Global South actors. The research will investigate how the UN has both facilitated and limited their role in shaping global order. This will be an important contribution to current debates about UN reform and assessments of its performance, safeguarding against further marginalization of these actors. Within this overarching project, a 4,5 year postdoc position is available: The United Nation as a Dynamic Globalizing Force
The Postdoc will develop two parts of the main project. The first, essential to the overall research project, is a categorization of changes to the UN, keeping track of what structural, methodological and institutional changes were produced in the years under study. The second is a research element which analyzes the reception of Global South initiatives in Britain, France, Germany and the United States which is important to show how changes to the UN were perceived and what were the reactions to, and the success and failures of, efforts to alter political dynamics and redefine norms relating to decolonization (especially questions of contested sovereignty), economic sovereignty and human rights (especially the advancement of economic and social rights).