Doctoral studentship

In Ethnology, specialising in illiberalism, populism and democracy at Södertörn University @sodertorn; deadline: 13 March 2023



One doctoral studentship in Ethnology, specialising in illiberalism, populism and democracy


Ref AP-2023/77

Södertörn University is a higher education institution in Stockholm that conducts education, research and collaboration with the surrounding community for sustainable societal development. Education and research are conducted in the humanities, social sciences, technology and natural sciences. The university also provides police and teacher education programmes with intercultural profiles. A significant amount of our research is multidisciplinary and specialises in the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe. At Södertörn University we combine subjects, perspectives, people and experiences, searching for surprising syntheses, challenges and development.

Ethnology at Södertörn University primarily focuses on diversity issues, cultural complexity and transnational processes in Europe - where one important research theme is societal transformations in the Baltic Sea region. The research environment includes a wide range of historical and contemporary perspectives on issues such as sustainability, democracy, schools and education, medical ethnology, transnational relations and migration, rural-urban connections, gender, social and political movements.
Ethnology is taught at Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral levels. The subject is involved with several of the university's multidisciplinary programmes, and runs its own degree programme, Cultural Analysis specialising in Sustainable Development (180 credits). For more information, please see: Ethnology - Södertörns högskola

Ethnology is part of the Historical Studies research area at Södertörn University, an area of the humanities in which aspects of society, culture and heritage are studied from different perspectives. Historical Studies includes five subject areas for doctoral studies: Archaeology, Ethnology, History, History of Ideas, and the Study of Religions. For more information, please click here.

Södertörn University welcomes proposals for a doctoral studentship in Ethnology, to be conducted at The Future of Democracy: Cultural Analyses of Illiberal Populism in Times of Crises (FUDEM) national graduate school. FUDEM is a multidisciplinary environment, within which junior and senior researchers in Cultural Studies, Ethnology, Gender Studies, Migration Studies and Musicology are researching the varied shapes and expressions that illiberalism and/or populism take in times of multiple crises, as well as different forms of resistance against illiberalism and populism. The graduate school is a collaboration between six Swedish universities: Linnaeus University, Linköping University, Lund University, Södertörn University, University of Gothenburg, and Uppsala University. The doctoral studentships at the research school are co-funded by the Swedish Research Council and the university at which the doctoral student will be employed. More information about FUDEM is available here: The Future of Democracy: Cultural Analyses of Illiberal Populism in Times of Crises (FUDEM) | University of Gothenburg ( 

The successful applicant for this position will be affiliated with both the Historical Studies research area and FUDEM graduate school, and will be employed by the School of Historical and Contemporary Studies at Södertörn University.

If relevant to the theme and geographical focus of the doctoral thesis, the doctoral student may be affiliated with the Baltic and East European Graduate School (BEEGS). Information about BEEGS is available here:  

Thematic focus
To be eligible for the doctoral studentship in Ethnology at the FUDEM graduate school, the planned project must be clearly related to issues concerning illiberalism, populism and democracy from the perspective of ethnology/cultural analysis. Examples of relevant themes include (but are not limited to) anti-gender movements, anti-migration politics and/or phenomena like climate change denial or anti-vaccination movements, or other phenomena which challenge democratic values and trust in established science. Political polarisation around these and related fundamental values, including populist movements in a broad sense, as well as different expressions of or conflicts around anti-elitism and notions of “the people” may constitute relevant issues.

Entry requirements
The general entry requirements are:

  1. a second-cycle qualification (Master’s level),
  2. fulfilled requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
  3. substantially equivalent knowledge acquired in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

The Faculty Board may permit an exemption from the general entry requirements for an individual applicant, if there are special grounds. (Ordinance 2010:1064).

Specific entry requirements and assessment
The specific entry requirements for doctoral-level education are met by someone who has completed an independent work (dissertation) at second-cycle level in Ethnology or can demonstrate the equivalent knowledge via qualifications in related disciplines. They must also possess the ability to thoroughly understand academic texts in English and any languages relevant to the proposed thesis and doctoral studies in Ethnology.

In special circumstances, the Faculty Board may exempt an applicant from the specific entry requirements.

Eligible applicants will first be ranked according to their ability to assimilate education at research level, then other qualifications will be reviewed on the basis of this ranking. The applicant's communication and cooperation skills may also be assessed using references, referees or interviews.

Admission and employment
This position includes admission to third-cycle education, i.e. research level, and employment on a doctoral studentship at the School of Historical and Contemporary at Södertörn University. The intended outcome for admitted students is a PhD. The programme covers 240 credits, which is the equivalent of four years of full-time study. The position may be extended by a maximum of one year due to the inclusion of departmental duties, i.e. education, research and/or administration (equivalent to no more than 20% of full-time). Other grounds for extension could be leave of absence because of illness or for service in the defence forces, an elected position in a trade union/student organisation, or parental leave.  Provisions relating to employment on a doctoral studentship are in the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5, Sections 1-7.

Date of employment: 1 September 2023

General Syllabus for third-cycle programmes in Ethnology: General syllabus for third-cycle programmes i Ethnology (

Information about admission regulations including selection criteria, and third-cycle education at Södertörn University: English version or Swedish version

Application procedure
For more details, see this website under FAQ. Please use Södertörn University´s web-based recruitment system “ReachMee”. Click on the link "ansök" (apply) at the bottom of the announcement.

Your application may be written in English or Swedish/Norwegian/Danish and must include:

  • an application letter
  • curriculum vitae
  • degree certificate and certificates that demonstrate eligibility to apply for the position (if not written in English or Swedish/Norwegian/Danish, you must enclose translated versions)
  • Dissertation at second-cycle level in the field in accordance with the entry requirements (if not written in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or English, you must enclose a summary of 5-6 pages, approx. 14,000 characters, to the copy of the dissertation)
  • a research plan (project plan) of between 1000 and 1500 words (excluding references). The project’s relevance to Ethnology and the thematic focus of the national research school FUDEM must be clear
  • two references, with contact details.

If available, a maximum of three publications may also be attached.

Incomplete applications will not be processed.

Application deadline: 13 March 2023 at 23:59

Further information
Jenny Gunnarsson Payne, Professor, Ethnology, jenny.gunnarsson.payne[ at ]
Helena Bergman, Director of Studies, Historical Studies, helena.bergman[ at ]
Elisabeth Wollin, Head of department, Ethnology, elisabeth.wollin[ at ] 

Welcome with your application!

On our website,, there is an application template that the applicant needs to follow. Publications referred to must be attached to the application.

An application that is not complete or arrives at Södertörn University after the closing date may be rejected.

The current employment is valid on condition that the employment decision becomes valid.

Södertörn University may apply CV review.

Union representatives:
SACO: info.saco[ at ]
ST: st[ at ]
SEKO: Henry Wölling tel: +46 8 524 840 80, henry.wolling[ at ]

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