PhD position: Political science with focus on resource extraction and indigenous peoples

September 6th, 2016

The Department of Political Science at Stockholm University is advertising a REXSAC PhD position.

Link to Stockholm University job advertisement

Ref. No. SU FV-2574-16

Closing date: 1 December 2016.

The Department of Political Science is a dynamic and strong education- and research department at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stockholm University. The Department aims to be nationally leading and internationally prominent within the field of research and education.

The Department now announces one position in the doctoral programme in Political Science with a specialization in resource extraction and indigenous peoples. The PhD student position is fully funded for 4 years. The PhD student will be employed at the Department of Political Science, and the PhD project will be part of the Research Centre of Excellence Resource Extraction and Sustainable Arctic Communities (REXSAC), financed by Nordforsk (the Nordic research board), hosted by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Stockholm University (SU). The PhD project will include opportunities for close collaboration with other partners in REXSAC. Planned entry date is January 1, 2017, and the PhD project will be one of four PhD projects within the Centre.

Project description
Indigenous rights to natural resources on their traditional lands are now internationally recognised, yet resource extraction on indigenous lands in the Arctic continues at an unprecedented rate, often without the consent of affected indigenous peoples and with limited knowledge of the impacts on their traditional livelihoods. Moreover, the activities of extractive industries take place in the context of many different uses of the same landscapes, and where a multitude of actors (state, corporate and non-state actors) have an increasingly complex governance role.

A critical issue in the governance of extractive industries is therefore to ensure that processes are in place that give voice to diverse rights, interests, and forms of knowledge when decisions are made about resource extraction activities. Moreover, such processes need to consider the cumulative impacts of past, present and anticipated future land use and climate change. In practice, such knowledge generation is circumscribed by existing power relations and conceptions about what knowledge, perspectives and rights claims are considered legitimate. Indigenous peoples’ traditional knowledge and their specific rights to land use often fall short when other interests are at stake. How to guarantee these rights is one important question in this research project.

This PhD topic will include analysis of the impacts of resource extraction on indigenous rights and livelihoods with a specific focus on what knowledge and rights claims are considered legitimate in decisions about land use in Sweden. The PhD candidate will also investigate if, and how, new approaches involving broader perspectives such as community-based assessments and participatory scenario exercises can make the decision-making processes more legitimate for affected Sami communities. The analyses of the specific local cases and the Swedish governance landscape will also be placed in context of international debates concerning indigenous rights. The research will be carried out in close cooperation with on-going collaborations with Sámi communities in Sweden.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Political Science stipulates that applicants must fulfil the following criteria:
– completed higher education equivalent to 150 Swedish university credits, including studies at advanced level (master’s level) of at least 60 Swedish university credits in the political science subject, or equivalent education
– a completed written academic, independent work with a least the grade ’pass’, equivalent to at least 15 Swedish university credits in the political science subject
– completed additional 90 Swedish university credits, or the equivalent, of higher education in subjects relevant to the graduate programme, and
– proficiency in English corresponding to at least 550 credits on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). (This criterion does not apply for students who have completed their education at a Swedish university, where English proficiency is a general eligibility requirement).

Understanding Swedish is not a requirement at the time of admission. The applicant should, however, be prepared within a couple of years to carry out teaching and administrative tasks that require knowledge and usage of the Swedish language.

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. The primary assessment criteria in appointing a doctoral student should be the capacity to benefit from the training.

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the training. In the assessment of the applications for this specific PhD project, knowledge of Sámi culture and society is considered to be of particular relevance. Knowledge in any of the Sámi languages will also be considered as qualifying. Also of relevance in the assessment are knowledge on indigenous rights, indigenous epistemologies, indigenous traditional knowledge, and governance of natural resources.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at:

Terms of employment
The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact Application Administration Aline Rojas Österlind, telephone: +46 8 16 30 94,

Further information about the research project can be obtained from Associate Professor Ulf Mörkenstam, telephone: +46 8 16 13 75,

Union representatives
Anqi Lindblom-Ahlm (Saco-S) and Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST), telephone: +46 8 16 20 00 (operator), Gunnar Stenberg (SEKO), telephone: +46 70 316 43 41, and PhD student representative:

Apply for the position at Stockholm University’s recruitment system by clicking here. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Research proposal (no more than 3 pages) describing:
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    – why and how you wish to complete the project
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions – Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University – our education and research produce results.

Closing date: 01/12/2016