Postdoctoral Researcher Mainstreaming Non-Extractive Economic Practices

Faculteit/Dienst:  Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid
Opleidingsniveau:  Gepromoveerd
Functie type:  Wetenschappelijk Personeel
Sluitingsdatum:  31 March 2022
Vacaturenummer:  7463



Are you interested in the role of law in transforming and creating economies, both at the legal-ethical level of values as well as at the level of social structure? Do you want to connect theory to practice and help understand how law can make socio-ecological transformation towards a non-extractive economy a credible and achievable prospect?


The Amsterdam Law School of the University of Amsterdam has an opening for  one or two Postdoctoral Researchers (0,5 FTE to 1 FTE for the duration of two years) at the Department of Private Law, within the framework of the ERC funded project ‘Law as a Vehicle for Social Change: Mainstreaming Non-Extractive Economic Practices’. Run by Prof. Dr. Marija Bartl, this ERC-funded project is currently in its second year and the Postdoctoral candidate will join the N-EXTLAW team, currently consisting of the PI, a PostDoc, a PhD candidate, a Researcher and a Research Assistant.



What will you be doing



The current economic model is overdue for revision. The relentless focus on economic growth is ravaging the environment, and the concomitant social problems have either already reached glaring levels (rocketing global inequality) or seem poised to do so (climate displaced persons). A number of radical proposals, such as prosperity without growth, circular economy, or doughnut economics, have been proposed to chart a trajectory towards socio-ecological transformation, arguing that a profound change in our ways of living and modes of production is necessary in order to respond to the threats we face. Yet such proposals, however commendable, have gained only modest political traction, insofar as they seem unthinkable from the vantage point of our current economic system, consumption patterns, political discourse and legal institutions.


This project will show how law can contribute to making such transformative projects politically credible. More specifically, it will demonstrate how law, and private law in particular, can be used to nurture those existing economic practices that already build on the environmental and social aspirations embodied by such projects. The two main objectives are, first, to offer a set of legal tools and policy proposals that would make the adoption of environmentally and socially non-extractive economic practices, such as social cooperatives or solidary financial institutions, more attractive for people to implement. Second, N-EXTLAW theorizes how law can turn seemingly utopian projects for socio-ecological transformation into a realistic legal-political project. By refashioning the concrete socio-legal arrangements for pursuing non-extractive economic practices as well as re-shaping the values on which economic decision-making draws, law can make non-extractive economic practices more present in everyday action, and thereby uphold those cultural frames that affirm the sense that socio-ecological transformation is within our reach.


The emphasis of the project is on the transformative potential of private law (company law, contract law, and property law). The team will, however, also venture into the transformative role of public law and regulation (including taxation, competition law, and social security law), as well as into the theoretical exploration of the role of law in the constitution and extraction of value.


The team will conduct qualitative empirical research (Participatory Action Research) to investigate the enablers and obstacles for socially and environmentally responsible economic activities to flourish within the legal systems of the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia and Norway.  The team is particularly interested to receive applications from scholars who are fluent in Italian or Norwegian and are familiar with one of those legal systems.



What do we require of you



The successful candidate:

  • has a PhD in law, social sciences or humanities;
  • has experience with qualitative research methods and analysis techniques; preferably has experience with participatory action research;
  • is proficient in English, and preferably also in Norwegian or Italian;
  • has excellent analysis and writing skills, as demonstrated by publications;
  • is a creative and out-of-the-box thinker;
  • is an excellent public speaker;
  • while teaching is optional, teaching and motivation to teach are a plus.


Required tasks:

  • to carry out and publish academic research of the highest calibre within the framework of the project;
  • present our research to a variety of academic and non-academic audiences;
  • work well both independently and as a team player;
  • be a proactive communicator and be dedicated and creative contributor to our team;
  • take responsibility for organizing events and administrative tasks;
  • optional: teaching (in addition to the post-doc contract).



Our offer



We offer an employment contract for two years with an initial probation period of one year, ideally starting on 1 September 2022. The employment contract is for between 19-38 hours per week (0,5-1,0 FTE).


Your salary, depending on your relevant experience on commencement of the employment contract, ranges between 3,807 to 5,211 gross per month on the basis of a full working week of 38 hours. This sum does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8.3% year-end allowance. The Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) is applicable.


The position is institutionally placed within the framework of the Amsterdam Centre for Transformative Private Law (ACT) and the Amsterdam Law School research programme Sustainable Global Economic Law (SGEL) and the successful candidate will join a vibrant research community.


At the ACT we explore the role of private law in the making of society, as well as the processes of private law-making in a pluriform world. ACT has a strong track-record of excellent research and sustains a dynamic research culture through a series of events and initiatives.


SGEL is a faculty cross-cutting project that connects private law with International and European law in exploration of the constitutive role of law in the global political economy and its transformation toward sustainability. Next to ACT, SGEL includes researchers from the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG) and the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL).


The faculty’s relevant graduate and postgraduate programmes draw a diverse, interesting and interested student population from the Netherlands and abroad.



About us



The University of Amsterdam is the largest university in the Netherlands, with the broadest spectrum of degree programmes. It is an intellectual hub with 39,000 students, 6,000 employees and 3,000 doctoral students who are all committed to a culture of inquiring minds.


The University of Amsterdam’s Law School prides itself on its international orientation and strong social commitment. This is reflected by both its research and educational activities. The Amsterdam Law School offers three Bachelor’s programmes, including the interdisciplinary English-language Bachelor Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) in cooperation with two other Faculties, as well as a variety of Master's programmes, several of which are taught exclusively in English (i.e. International and European Law, European Private Law, International Criminal Law, and Law & Finance). The Amsterdam Law School prepares students for a wide variety of legal careers including law firms, government, business and industry, the national and international judiciary, public service, human rights advocacy, and academia. With 3,700 students and over 400 staff members, it is one of the largest law faculties in the Netherlands.


The department of Private Law is responsible for coordinating and teaching a wide scope of first-year Bachelor courses and the Masters Private Law, European Private law and Law and Finance. In terms of research environment, the postdoctoral researcher will be part of the lively and supportive intellectual environment of the ACT and the broader research program SGEL.


Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.






If you have any questions about the position, please contact (during office hours):




Job application



If you feel this profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the link below. We will accept applications for the first round of selection procedure until 31 March 2022.


The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.


No agencies please.