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Job id: 086947. Salary: £43,205 to £46,732 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 25 March 2024. Closing date: 15 April 2024.

Business unit: Social Science & Public Policy. Department: Department of Political Economy.

Contact details: Steven Klein. Steven.klein@kcl.ac.uk

Location: Strand Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

The Department of Political Economy is seeking to appoint two Postdoctoral Research Associates to work full time on the research project DERISK with Steven Klein. The Systemic Risk and the Transformation of Democracy (DERISK) project is funded by a UKRI Frontier Research Grant (successfully evaluated for the ERC Starting Grant and funded by UKRI as part of the UKRI Horizon Europe guarantee). From financial crises to climate change and pandemics, over the past several decades societies have increasingly faced systemic risks. Drawing together political philosophy, the philosophy of risk, and empirical research on systemic risk in political science, sociology, economics, risk studies, and complexity theory, the project asks: what happens to democracy when systemic risks become a central problem of politics? And how should democratic institutions govern these new forms of risk? 

To answer these questions, the project will develop a new theory of risk democracy. As empirically-grounded political theory, this model will provide both a diagnostic account of how the changing structure of risk is challenging welfare-state modes of democratic risk-sharing, focusing on three case studies: financial risk, climate change risk, and pandemic risk. 

The successful applicant will have an excellent academic track record and a strong knowledge of normative political theory and democratic theory. The successful applicant will ideally have expertise in the political theory of climate change. The successful applicant will be expected to contribute to the research across the project’s four work packages, including co-authoring the research outputs from the project, helping to manage student assistants and organize events to disseminate the project’s findings. There is a strong potential for the post doc to contribute to the design and implementation of research ideas within the overall project frame. 

The successful applicant will be based at the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London. Founded in 2010, the department is the only dedicated Department of Political Economy in the UK offering a unique interdisciplinary environment with staff and students from all over the world.   

Applications will be considered from postdoctoral researchers and from current PhD students nearing the completion of their PhD. Applicants must have submitted their PhD by the time they take up the post. 

All applications should include: 1) a cover letter; and 2) a CV (including names of two referees) and 3) a single-authored article-length writing sample. 

The post will be offered on a fixed-term contract from 1st September 2024 to 31st August 2027

The posts is a full-time position on the ERC project - 100% full time equivalent. 

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 3 years 

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • Produce original research about systemic risk and democracy. 
  • Provide policy analysis and information about the effects of systemic risk on democracy. 
  • Co-authoring research outputs from the project  
  • Managing research assistants  
  • Organizing conference panels and other events to disseminate the project’s findings. 
  • Presenting research outputs from the project. 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.      PhD awarded or near completion in Political Science, Philosophy, or a closely related discipline. 

2.      Demonstrated capacity for producing excellent research published, or capable of being published, with leading academic journals and presses. 

3.      Solid expertise in normative political theory.

Desirable criteria 

5.      A good grasp of relevant academic literature (e.g. risk studies, democratic theory).

6.      Experience with publishing academic and public-facing articles. 

7.      Expertise in the political theory of climate change. 

Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.