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PhD in Ethnography H/F

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : mardi 28 septembre 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR7106-PRIDEF-001
Workplace : PARIS 05
Date of publication : Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Primavera De Filippi
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The doctoral student will engage in participant observation, fieldwork and cultural immersion to investigate the formal and informal governance structures of blockchain communities, listening to the voices of these communities from within in order to unveil the tacit governance practices and the invisible powers operating behind the scenes. First, the ethnography will focus on three existing blockchain networks, selected for their distinct approaches to governance: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tezos. Subsequently, the attention will shift to analysing the governance and operations of the testbed communities piloting the Participatory Action Research. The student will observe blockchain communities through direct and ongoing participation with a view to reveal
their intrinsic objectives and needs, preoccupations and doubts. Qualitative data analysis will contribute new empirical insights concerning both the formal and informal, explicit and implicit governance practices underpinning these blockchain-based networks, revealing power dynamics that may have gone unnoticed by the communities themselves.

Work Context

The researcher will work in the office of CERSA in Paris. Remote work will be allowed for specified periods of time, with regular face to face meetings.
- The position will allow for flexible working hours.
- The research will be managed with a goal-oriented approach, focusing essentially on deliverables.

Constraints and risks

- Demonstrated interest and pre-existing knowledge in several of the following topics:
ethnography, Participatory Action Research, blockchain technology, peer-to-peer
technologies, distributed governance, commons-based peer-production, science and
technology studies.
- Fluency in English, excellent writing and presentation skills
- Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams, autonomy, critical thinking

Additional Information

The European Research Council project “Blockchain Gov”, directed by Primavera De Filippi, is looking for a doctoral student with expertise in ethnographic studies and Participatory Action Research to investigate the governance of blockchain networks. The researcher will be expected to investigate the formal and informal governance structures of blockchain communities and their underlying power dynamics.
The project is a 5 year long (2021-2026), EU-funded (ERC grant of €2M), hosted at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (France) and the European University Institute (Italy), with Principal Investigator and advisors from the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University.

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