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Strategies of adaptation and horizons of expectations in Ukraine or Moldova (M/W)

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

Date Limite Candidature : mardi 5 octobre 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR8504-BEAVON-002
Date of publication : Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Béatrice von Hirschhausen
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 November 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The objective of the Ph.D dissertation is to contribute to the LimSpaces project "Living with Uncertainty. Strategies of Adaptation and Horizons of Expectation in Ukraine and Moldova", funded by the French-German ANR-DFG social science research program.
The project proposes a new reading of Ukrainian and Moldavian societies, which seem to have settled into lasting political and social instability at the very gates of the European Union. The originality of the project consists in going beyond their perception as peripheral versions of the European model. The project thus aims to explore the micro-social effects of their liminal position ʺentre-deuxʺ, between the Western and Russian spheres of intervention and influence, from the bottom up. It takes the opposite view from an ordinary vision of the region that tends to freeze these societies in cultural and historical dichotomies and “otherness”; it analyses them in a situated and relational perspective, centered on the actors.
At an empirical level, the LimSpaces project aims to produce a comprehensive reading of these societies based on the study of the everyday strategies which people develop in “entre-deux” (liminal) situations of high uncertainty. It will expound the ways in which actors choose to provide for their needs, undertake business activities, plan for professional training and how they project themselves into the future despite the instable political, geopolitical and economic contexts. It explores the imaginaries and strategies that different types of actors (ordinary inhabitants, entrepreneurs, parents, students, etc.) implement to adapt or to escape the uncertainties of a liminal position. At a theoretical level the project intends to develop the concept of liminality by exploring its features in these in-between spaces.

The research will involve a large amount of original qualitative data collection (interviews, ethnographic observations, cartographic studies) with strong involvement by three partner teams with solid experience in these fields: the UMR Géographie-cités (Paris/Aubervilliers), the Marc Bloch Centre in Berlin and the ZOiS (Centre for East European and International Studies) also in Berlin. The team of researchers and doctoral students will conduct surveys in various locations, including in the separatist territories of Transnistria, and in Ukraine in the regions bordering with the self-proclaimed entities, the peoples' republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

The candidate's project can preferably be within the scope of one of the Work Packages (WP) :
WP. A1 : Economic and family strategies of urban or rural dwellers (research conducted preferably in Ukraine)
WP B1 : The learning of foreign languages (research conducted in Moldova or on the separatist territories of Transnistria)
WP B1 : Student migrations : international mobilities and strategies for the future (research conducted in Ukraine or Moldova and/or in the separatist territories of Transnistria)

Application process :
Candidates (with a background in geography and/or more broadly in the humanities and social sciences) are invited to contact Béatrice von Hischhausen and Denis Eckert (candidatures.these.limspaces@gmail.com) before before 31 July in order to discuss their research idea and a potential thesis project to be developed within the scope of LimSpaces' project, its research questions and on one or other of the research territories (Ukraine, Moldova).

The submission should include:
A cover/ motivational letter
The dissertation project (3-5 pages) for the Limspaces project
A curriculum vitae
A copy of the Master's diploma or, if the master's degree is underway, a transcript of the grades transcript. For students enrolled in a French M1/M2 degree, the M1 diploma and grades transcript.
A letter of recommendation by a researcher/teaching researcher

Selected candidates will be invited for an interview mid September

- Research activities and preparation of the PhD within the ANR/DFG LimSpaces project
- Field research in Moldova and Ukraine,
- Analysis of empirical materials (ethnographic surveys, data analysis)
- Completion of the Ph.D dissertation and of at least one article in a peer-reviewed journal
- Participation in joint work activities (coordination meetings, seminars, workshops, colloquia) and contributing to the project's publications:
- Participation in the scientific life within the UMR Géographie-cités.

- Master's degree in geography or in the social and human sciences
- Excellent communication skills in French (oral and written)
- Communication skills or willingness to invest in learning to communicate in Romanian (Moldovan) OR Ukrainian OR Russian
- Good communication skills in English
- Good problem-solving skills, ability to work independently
- Creativity, good organization, patience, motivation
- Willingness to spend extended periods in the field during the first two years of the thesis

Skills that are useful but not essential:
- Communication skills in German

Work Context

The doctoral student will be integrated into the UMR 8504 Géographie-cités. This research unit is under the supervision of the CNRS, the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, the University of Paris, and the EHESS
The doctoral student will work in the UMR's premises on the Condorcet Campus, in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis)
Expenses for field research stays and participation in scientific events are covered by the project.
The PhD work will also be part of the interdisciplinary and international research collective of the project.
The dissertation will be conducted under the supervision of Denis Eckert or Beatrice von Hirschhausen.
International co-supervision of the Ph.D is possible.

Additional Information

Applications must be submitted via the emploi.cnrs.fr website by 10 September

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