PhD Candidates on Crimmigration & the Management of EU Cross-Border Mobility 2017, Leiden University, Netherlands

Publish Date: Jan 27, 2017

Deadline: Feb 06, 2017

PhD Candidates on Crimmigration & the Management of EU Cross-Border Mobility

The research project “Getting to the Core of Crimmigration. Assessing the Role of Discretion in Managing Internal Cross-Border Mobility” aims to unravel the process of crimmigration - the merger of crime control and immigration control - in relation to the management of cross-border mobility in Europe. This project is funded by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) by means of an Innovational Research Incentives Scheme, also known as the VIDI grant. The project consists of three subprojects, two of which are PhD projects, and the third is a synthesis project to be carried out by the senior researcher.

The project is driven by two assumptions: First the notion that the exercise of power is not a one-way, top–down street, but rather a fundamentally associative process involving a perpetual negotiation between various levels of power on which discretionary decisions are made, such as the supranational (EU) level, the state level and the street-level. Street-level border police officers can be thought of as dynamic agents who do not merely submit to a power structure, but who also participate in the shaping of that structure. Second, the notion that the support and/ or resistance in local border communities for the (supra) national efforts of transforming political, economic and social structures within these localities is vital for the effectivity and legitimacy of the discretionary policies and practices. The research adopts a multi-sited approach, comparing border policing practices and local responses to these practices in four cases: (A) Netherlands, (B) Germany, (C)Norway, (D) the UK and (E) Denmark.

The two PhD projects will be carried out in the same countries, but with a different focus.

  1. PhD project The role of human agency in shaping crimmigration control (working title) will focus on border or immigration police officers as active actors in the process of crimmigration. In doing so, specific attention will be paid to the dialectics of control and resistance within the responsible agencies as well as to the interaction of their decision-making with the decisions made on the upper legislative and policy echelons. This project will be co-supervised with Dr. Helene Gundhus, Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, University of Oslo.
  2. PhD project The role of local communities in shaping crimmigration control (working title) will focus on the interaction between local (border)communities and border control practices. In doing so, the project will examine the capacity of local communities – both immigrant and non- immigrant communities -  to speak back to power at the national level. To what extent do these local communities also use the discretion of border control officers and authorities to resist or perhaps even stimulate the process of crimmigration control? This project will be co-supervised with Dr. Alpa Parmar and Prof. Mary Bosworth, both affiliated with the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford.

Key responsibilities

  • To engage in supervised scientific research that will ultimately result in a doctoral thesis;
  • To carry out a systematic literature analysis related to the research;
  • To conduct field research in Norway, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom;
  • To prepare and submit research output for publication in peer-reviewed international scientific journals;
  • To participate actively in all activities related to the larger VIDI research and other activities of the Van Vollenhoven Institute.

Selection criteria

  • Master degree in law and/or social sciences, with demonstrated interest in migration and border security.
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English; good command of German, and/or Danish and/ or Norwegian is desirable; knowledge of Dutch is considered an advantage;
  • Demonstrated research experience;
  • Ability and willingness to carry out empirical research and stay for extended periods in Norway, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom;
  • Keen interest in interdisciplinary socio-legal research methods and approaches;
  • Ability to work in a team and willingness to support other activities of the VVI.

Our Faculty/Institute

With over 5,000 students and 450 members of staff, Leiden Law School is one of the largest faculties in the Netherlands. Yet, in all its diversity, it is still known for its ability to provide education on a small scale. The Faculty focuses on multi-faceted high-level teaching and research, both nationally and internationally. It does so by working with talented people and stimulating and supporting them in their professional and personal ambitions. The Faculty is housed in the beautifully restored Kamerlingh Onnes Building on the Steenschuur in Leiden. Working for the Leiden Law School means working in an inspiring scientific environment. 

The Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI) is part of the Leiden Law School. The VVI seeks to advance knowledge of the formation and functioning of legal systems in their social contexts, the impact of these systems on society and vice versa, their effectiveness in governance, and their contribution to development.

The Institute adopts a socio-legal and global approach, doing research on law in the books and law in action in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and North America. VVI staff teaches several socio-legal thematic and regional courses for both Dutch and foreign exchange students. In addition, VVI provides PhD supervision, advisory services and training courses to policy makers and practitioners.

Terms & Conditions

  • We offer a fixed-term post for a period of one year with an extension of three years after positive evaluation. Ultimately the appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis. The starting date is set for 1 April 2017.
  • Salary range from € 2,191.- gross per month on a full-time basis in the first year up to € 2,801.- in year four, (pay scale P , in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

  • Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.


Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups.


Candidates interested in this position should send their application (in English) electronically, including:

  • A motivation letter;
  • A curriculum vitae;
  • A digital copy of your MA thesis or other major writing sample;
  • Copies of your academic transcripts;
  • A research proposal (max. 2.500 words);
  • The names, positions, and contact details of two (academic) referees.

Please submit online your application no later than 6 February 2017 via the blue button of our application system.

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

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