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Post-doctoral position "Interpretive struggles around Corporate Responsibility for Violence (m/f/d)

BMBF-funded collaborative research network 'Deutungskämpfe im Übergang'

Application deadline:

In the context of the new BMBF-funded collaborative research network ‘Deutungskämpfe im Übergang” (Interpretative Struggles in Times of Transition), there is a vacancy at the University of Bayreuth for a

Post-doctoral position "Interpretive struggles around Corporate Responsibility for Violence" (m/f/d)

E 13 TV-L, 100 % 

limited to 24 months (or available as part-time arrangement), to be filled.

The aim is to investigate from an interdisciplinary perspective (history/social science) with interpretive struggles around corporate responsibility for violence and exploitation. While in Germany, coming to terms with the responsibility of companies for Nazi crimes has long been the subject of public debate as well as research, the responsibility of German companies for colonial violence (in structural and physical form) is still under-examined and even lags far behind the equally timid coming to terms with it in other colonial powers. Engagement with postcolonial continuities of involvement of corporations in violence is also under-lit in current debates about corporate practices by transnational companies, including in those about corporate responsibility (UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, German Supply Chain Act etc.) for the avoidance of violence in connection with companies’ global activities. While Germany's (post)colonial responsibility has received renewed attention in recent years, it has so far been limited to political discussions (genocide, genocide) as well as cultural issues (restitution of artefacts, museum presentation). Research on the economic dimension of this in the context of global corporate activity in the Global South is lacking.

The aim of the project is to close this gap by working on a case study in (ideally southern) Germany (depending on the researcher) that has yet to be named, combining historical and social science methods and paying attention to shifts over time in how (post)colonial violence and corporate involvement and responsibility have been interpreted and contested. In addition to the development and completion of the research project, the position holder is expected to participate in group events and publications of the joint project and to take part in interdisciplinary cooperation in the field of peace and conflict research under the overall topic of interpretive struggles in transitions. Previous experience in interdisciplinary work is strongly desired.

The position is part of the BMBF-funded research network "‘Deutungskämpfe im Übergang” (Interpretative Battles in Times of Transition)", a joint regional endeavor of the Universität Augsburg, the Institut für Zeitgeschichte München, the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg  and the University of Bayreuth since April 2022. It is to contribute to and further develop an interdisciplinary focus area on ‘Deutungskämpfe im Übergang” (Interpretative Battles in time of Transition) within Peace and Conflict Studies between Global Sociology/International Relations and History, for which responsibility lies with the research team at University of Bayreuth.

The position is advertised as E 13 TV-L, 100%, limited to 24 months (01.10.2022 to 30.09.2024). In addition to the position, there is a certain amount of material funding available (travel expenses, etc.).

Please submit as application documents digitally (see below), including:

a) Proof of a doctorate in the field of history, sociology or international relations as well as good knowledge of German and English. Proof of the doctorate must be submitted at the latest by the start of employment.

b) Work sample (e.g. article, chapter, etc.) and a short outline (1-2 pages incl. time schedule) of the project suggested.

c) Short curriculum vitae with two references (at least one university lecturer, no actual letters required at this stage).

The University of Bayreuth values the diversity of its employees as an enrichment and is expressly committed to the goal of equal opportunities for men and women. Women are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants with children are very welcome. The University of Bayreuth is a member of the Best Practice Club "Familie in der Hochschule e.V." (Family in Higher Education) and has successfully participated in the HRK audit "Internationalisation of Higher Education". Persons with severe disabilities will be given preferential consideration in case of equal suitability.

Please apply online by 20th August 2022, stating the password "responsibility" via our online application portal of the University of Bayreuth. 

The documents will be deleted after the position has been filled in accordance with data protection requirements.

The contract is to start on 1st October 2022. 

If you have any questions, please contact Prof. Dr. Jana Hönke (jana.hö and/or Dr. Julia Eichenberg, (

We look forward to receiving your application.