3-Year Postdoc Transnational Publics / Digital Methods with focus on Global South.

We are seeking to employ a postdoc researcher (m/f/d) on the INFRAGLOB project: “Africa’s Infrastructure Globalities: Rethinking the Political Geographies of Economic Hubs from the Global South” (www.infraglob.eu, funded by the ERC).

Job description

You will coordinate and conduct research on transnational publics and infrastructure globalities, with a focus on social media analysis and digital methods. Empirically, the research will revolve around situated and material publics around large-scale Brazilian and Chinese infrastructure projects across the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic. In close cooperation with the PI, you will develop the methodology, collect and analyse online material using digital methods, and integrate these with qualitative material and fieldwork methods in collaboration with other team members. The position also involves collaborating with international research partners, and contributing to the high-level publication of project results. There will be room to develop your own research compatible with project responsibilities.

The overall project starts from the observation that in a world increasingly shaped by non-state actors and technical systems, governance and power beyond the state is one of the major challenges of contemporary international relations. Yet how that plays out with emerging actors from the Global South and growing South-South relations remains little understood. Infraglob develops the notion of infrastructure globalities and uses sites of Chinese and Brazilian large-scale investment in Africa to understand how governance practices, and their spatial remit, are reworked in South-South relations, and how that shapes the discourses and practices of global governance of transnational business. Drawing from practice theories, it follows diverse practitioners and technologies and the disputes and friction that unfold around them.

You will become part of a first class, international research environment by joining the newly set-up INFRAGLOB research group prestigiously funded by the European Research Council. And by becoming part of the interdisciplinary research environment of University of Bayreuth, which notably hosts vibrant cultural studies, media studies, sociology and science and technology studies research groups plus the Africa Multiple cluster of excellency.


You are intellectually curious and enthusiastic about working in an international team across disciplinary and methodological boundaries.
We are looking for someone who has most of the following:

  • An interest and track record in studying and theorizing transnational publics and/or transnational contentious politics; familiarity with the idea of situational publics is desirable
  • Excellent skills in digital methods and social media analysis, preferably experience in using them to study transnational publics and/or contentious politics, ideally including outside Europe and in authoritarian contexts
  • A PhD in a relevant social science discipline, such as Sociology, Political Science, International Relations, Media Studies or Science and Technology Studies (the degree should be completed before the start of the appointment)
  • Relevant international networks; experience with international collaboration is desirable
  • An excellent command of English. Good knowledge of Mandarin or Portuguese would be valuable but is not mandatory. Knowledge of German is not required.

Conditions of employment

The position is full-time for three years. The University of Bayreuth offers a salary in accordance with the collective agreement of the German Länder for civil service (TV-L) at pay scale E 13 (the specific salary will be determined according to individual qualification and professional experience).

The start date is as soon as possible.

The University of Bayreuth as an equal opportunity employer promotes gender equality and diversity. Therefore, we encourage women and international candidates to apply. Qualified candidates with disabilities or applicants with equivalent status receive preference in the application process.


Please submit the following documents, merged into one single PDF file (up to 30 MB), until 15 January 2020 (midnight CET):

  • A letter of motivation
  • A curriculum vitae (including copies of MA degree and a transcript of the grades obtained) and names and contact details of two academic referees
  • If the PhD defense will be after the application, please send information on the defense date or a confirmation from your PhD adviser (or professor) on the expected defense date
  • A full list of publications
  • Two sample writings
  • A 1-2 page description of your research plans for the coming 3 years taking into account project responsibilities
  • Please submit your application to SozAfr@uni-bayreuth.de

If you have further questions about the position, you are welcome to contact Jana.Hoenke@uni-bayreuth.de