Postdoctoral Positions

The Departments Anthropology of Politics and Governance & Anthropology of Economic Experimentation @MaxAnthropology invite applications for 2 postdoctoral positions on Constructing Urban Futures in Asia; deadline 15.01.2023



The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the leading centres for research in social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality.

The Departments “Anthropology of Politics and Governance” and “Anthropology of Economic Experimentation” invite applications for

2 Postdoctoral positions
for a new research focus on “Constructing Urban Futures in Asia”
(starting as early as possible after 1 March 2023)

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Growing prosperity and ongoing rural-urban migration have been feeding an unprecedented building boom across the cities of East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia, sometimes coupled with a renewed appreciation of cultural heritage. Not only is the boom transforming political economies; it will also create the signature metropolises of our century and challenge Euroamerican hegemony over notions of the urban. The new focus group will concentrate on the professionals in planning, architecture, construction and conservation, as the people most centrally placed to shape urban futures in Asia, and will investigate their ideals, concerns, strategies and compromises when dealing with the multiple political and economic actors involved in construction and with general challenges such as climate change. Researchers are expected to conduct in-depth ethnographic fieldwork and to contribute to theoretical and methodological innovation in anthropology, urban studies and adjacent fields.

Your Profile
We look for team players with an excellent PhD in social anthropology or closely related disciplines and fluent spoken and written English, the institute’s language of communication. Research experience in urban anthropology and the targeted sector, cultural and linguistic familiarity with the proposed research location and a promising publication record are all considered a plus.

Our Offer
The postdoctoral position will be for a duration of two years, renewable for a third year. Employment will be on a full-time contractual basis. Remuneration is in accordance with the Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD, level E13). The workplace is Halle (Saale), a dynamic, historical town in central Germany (Sachsen-Anhalt) that is home to the renowned Martin Luther University and numerous scientific institutions. Our modern campus is in a quiet, picturesque neighbourhood near the centre of town.

The Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in science; we thus explicitly encourage applications from female researchers. Individuals with disabilities will be given priority, assuming equal qualifications.

Please submit your application electronically by 15 January 2023 by following the link for vacancies on our homepage and enclose:

  • a cover letter (also indicating your preference for departmental affiliation)
  • a CV and list of publications
  • a two-page sketch of a concrete research project relating to the focus framework
  • photocopies of academic degrees
  • two or three names of individuals we may contact for letters of reference
  • the PhD thesis (or the book based on it) and up to two further articles or chapters

Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to Prof. Christoph Brumann (

If you have further questions regarding the application procedure, please contact:
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Personnel Administration
Nadine Wagenbrett (wagenbrett(at)

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.

Further information on the research agenda of the Max Planck Institute is available on our website:


Nähere Informationen

Prof. Christoph Brumann

brumann[ at ]