2 PhD Positions within the “Paramilitarism, Organized Crime, and the State in the 1990s” project

Deadline: 7 November 2014
Open to: candidates with master degree in History or other field in Social Sciences
Scholarship: € 2083 – € 2664 per month



Utrecht University offers 2 PhD positions within the NWO-funded project “Paramilitarism, Organized Crime, and the State in the 1990s”, which examines the emergence, functioning, and aftermath of paramilitarism during modern violent conflicts in Europe and beyond. The project will examine several cases of recent paramilitarism, including Serbia and Turkey, within a comparative framework. It aims to answer the questions how and why paramilitarism emerges; to what extent and how it contributes to large-scale violence; what happens to these units after their role ends; and how paramilitarism is connected to transformations of warfare, human rights violations, and state-society relations.

The 2 positions are:

  1. 1 PhD position in History ‘Paramilitarism, Organized Crime and the Turkish State in the 1990s’ – The PhD candidate involved in this sub-project will concentrate on Turkish paramilitary squads and the Kurdish conflict in the period 1980-2000.
  2. 1 PhD position in History ‘Paramilitarism, Organized Crime and the Yugoslav State in the 1990s’ – The PhD candidate involved in this sub-project will concentrate on Serb paramilitary squads and the Yugoslav wars of succession in the period 1980-2000.

The candidates will identify paramilitarism in Turkey / Serbia, by mapping how these networks related to the country’s intelligence and security networks and political parties. The project will also examine the acts of the paramilitaries, including political assassinations, mass violence against civilians, organized crime, and material and environmental destruction.


  • a (research) master degree in history or another social science (e.g. political science, sociology, anthropology);
  • an outstanding record of undergraduate and Master’s degree work;
  • experience in archival research and/or fieldwork;
  • a clear interest in mass violence, political conflict, civil war, and relevant theories;
  • fluency in the Turkish/Serbo-Croatian language. Knowledge of other European languages is an advantage;
  • capacity to work both as a creative and independent researcher and as part of a team.


They offer a part-time PhD position (0,8 fte), consisting of an initial period of eighteen months which, after a satisfactory first year, will be extended by another thirty months (four years in total), with a gross monthly full-time salary starting at € 2,083,- in the first year, ending at € 2,664,- in the fourth year. Utrecht University offers a pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% per year, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% and flexible employment conditions.


The deadline for the application is 7 November 2014.

Applications are submitted online HERE. Search for your desired project in all vacancies, and click on the apply button.  Applicants should submit:

  •  a cover letter;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • information about their undergraduate training;
  • a transcript of academic results;
  • an MA thesis (or written coursework if the MA thesis is not yet available);
  • certified copies of relevant diplomas;
  • the contact details of two referees (names, affiliations, and phone numbers or email addresses). Preferably, reference letters are included;
  • a 600-word research design proposal, in which they present their ideas about this project.

Contact:  u.ungor@uu.nl

For further information consult the official website HERE. 

Leave a Reply