Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology 2 PhD Positions 2017, Germany

Publish Date: Apr 20, 2017

Deadline: Apr 30, 2017

2 PhD positions

Job Offer from March 27, 2017

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 Department ‘Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is offering 2 PhD positions (starting 1st October 2017).

The positions are offered within the research group “Political and Economic Anthropology of Southeast Asia” and will focus on the theme of electric statemaking in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Project Description

The construction of infrastructures as technopolitical assemblages is central to the organization of state power. With a focus on electricity in three key areas – generation, transmission, and consumption – this Research Group will investigate how the expansion of electric grids in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) interacts with social, political, and economic forces at various levels of governance. Policies and bureaucratic encounters will be investigated with reference to their role in the construction of particular (gendered, neo-liberal, moral, political) subjects and subjectivities. By applying an infrastructural perspective on statemaking processes, the Research Group aims to enrich current understandings of government and governance across different political regimes in and beyond Southeast Asia.

Your Profile

Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in Anthropology or a related discipline. Excellent academic writing and communication skills in English are essential. Prior field experience in the designated region and knowledge of relevant national and local languages are desirable. Brief research proposals (maximum 2 pages) should be attached; successful applicants are expected to be ready to modify details of their proposal when the Research Group is consolidated.

Our Offer

The PhD positions are awarded for three years, with the possibility of two six-month extensions. We expect our PhD students to complete a one year period of fieldwork as part of their studies. The workplace is Halle/Saale (Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany).

The Max Planck Society strives to employ more persons with disabilities and explicitly encourages applications. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in underrepresented fields; we thus explicitly encourage applications by women.


Please submit your application electronically by 30 April 2017 following the link for vacancies on our homepage. Applicants should send the following documentation:

  • cover letter
  • CV including a list of publications
  • two-page summary of the proposed research, which should demonstrate clear links both to the applicant’s previous work and qualifications and to the respective research field
  • university degrees
  • names of two or three referees, whom we may contact

Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Personnel Administration Janka Diallo ( Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to Kirsten Endres (

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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