PhD candidate ‘Consumers on the March: Civic Activism and Political Representation in Europe, 1970s to 1990s’ (Deadline 4 November 2018)

The Department of History and Art History seeks to appoint a PhD candidate for the project ‘Consumers on the March: Civic Activism and Political Representation in Europe, 1970s to 1990s’, funded by means of a VIDI Research Grant awarded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to Dr Liesbeth van de Grift.

The PhD candidate will be working on the subproject ‘A Europe of Consumers: BEUC and the Europeanisation of Consumer Policies, 1970s to 1990s’ (1.0 FTE)

From the 1970s, the European Community became increasingly focused on consumer protection. This change allowed transnational NGOs, such as the European Bureau of Consumer Unions (BEUC), to enter the European political arena and influence cross-border issues like product safety, environmental protection, and public health. This project will focus on the internal dynamics and external communications of BEUC to analyse how a common European agenda was negotiated and how national differences and local situations affected this process. The project combines two angles (BEUC, including its national member organisations, and the Dutch Consumer Council) and will be largely based on primary source research (e.g. policy documents, internal collections of consumer groups, consumer journals as well as interviews with key persons within the consumer movement). It forms part of the project ‘Consumers on the March: Civic Activism and Political Representation in Europe, 1970s to 1990s’, which examines the impact of consumer organisations on changing conceptions and practices of interest representation in European governance since the 1970s.


The successful PhD candidate should preferably have:

  • a (research) Master’s degree in History, European Studies or another relevant discipline, and a demonstrable affinity with the project;
  • an outstanding record of Undergraduate and Master’s degree work;
  • excellent command of Dutch and English, both written and orally;
  • good knowledge of modern languages (German, French);
  • experience with archival research;
  • strong writing and analytical skills;
  • capacity to work both as an independent researcher and as part of a team.

Conditions of employment
The position will be offered for 1.0 FTE, start date from 1 February 2019 onwards. The appointment is for an initial period of 18 months, which after a satisfactory evaluation will be extended by another 30 months (4 years in total).

The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges between €2,266 and €2,897 (scale P according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

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