Call for Applications: Authoritarian Capitalism, Reactionary Populism, and Emancipatory Counter-Strategies: Global Perspectives from the South

Authoritarian Capitalism, Reactionary Populism, and Emancipatory Counter-Strategies: Global Perspectives from the South

Call for Applications from the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung for postdoctoral fellowships at research institutions in countries of the Global South, as part of an International Research Group on Authoritarianism, and Counter-Strategies

Application deadline: August 4, 2019

The Global Scholarly Dialogue Programme is an initiative of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (RLS) aimed at supporting critical research in countries of the Global South, and at strengthening dialogue on crucial international political and social issues, both internally, between countries in the South, and between the Global South and the North. To achieve this, the RLS will fund up to ten postdoctoral fellowships for a period of up to twenty-six months (funding ends in December 2021) for research by scholar-activists on authoritarian capitalism, reactionary populism, and emancipatory counter-strategies.

The postdoctoral researchers will be based mainly at institutions of their choice in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and we ask interested scholars to choose a suitable institution and mentor for their project themselves. Nevertheless, participation in regular global and regional workshops as well as other digital and analogue forms of collaboration will be key to our goal of establishing an International Research Group on Authoritarianism & Counter-Strategies. Participants are also strongly encouraged to spend up to six months of the funding period (first or second semester 2021) as visiting scholars in Germany, during which they will work on collaborative projects with other participating researchers (the RLS will support researchers with their search for an appropriate host institution in Germany during the first year of the program).

With this call-out, the RLS is seeking research proposals on the global entanglements of authoritarian politics, reactionary movements and ideologies, and emancipatory counter-strategies. We are especially interested in studies that propose a global perspective for and from the Global South on this issue. That is, studies that critically relate regional problems to global economic and power relations and transnational actor networks, and propose creative, inter- and transdisciplinary research strategies. We favour scholar-activist methodologies—that is, rigorous academic work that is embedded in actual left-wing political projects, movements, or initiatives—and are looking for research output that reflects this scholar-activist character.

The program’s explicit goal is to contribute to a global dialogue between radical progressive scholars and activists who seek to better understand the rising tide of global authoritarianism, develop emancipatory counter-strategies, and advance a different path towards a just, democratic society based on international solidarity in the tradition of the workers’ and women’s movements, and on the principles of anti-fascism and anti-racism.

General information
Please note that the financial support provided to postdoctoral researchers will be based on salaries paid for comparable, full-time academic positions in the region, and as such will vary from country to country. Additional funding may be granted (e.g. for conference attendance), and travel costs for international meetings arranged by the RLS will be covered in full. For the proposed six-month research stay in Germany, the monthly payment is €2,500. Grant recipients are not permitted to engage in full-time employment while receiving funding as part of the program.

The funding for postdoctoral positions provided by the Global Scholarly Dialogue Programme will run through to December 2021. Funding will commence in November 2019 at the earliest, depending on your schedule.

In order to facilitate ongoing and productive dialogue between all participating scholars, the working language of the entire program will be English. Please also note that an interview in English will be part of the second phase of the selection process, and teaching activities in Germany will have to be carried out in English.

We place strong emphasis on the candidates’ political, social and cultural engagement and we ask you to provide information on this. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, please contact us via email.
Application deadline is 4 August 2019.

The postdoctoral researchers will be based at institutions of their choice in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Interested scholars should choose a suitable institution and mentor for their project themselves. We ask you to provide proof and detailed information regarding your integration into the institution (for example, as an associated fellow). The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung will support researchers with their search for an appropriate host institution in Germany during the first year of the program.
An academic board of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (RLS) will evaluate all complete applications. The most promising projects will then be evaluated by external academic referees, and we will invite the candidates for an interview (via videoconference). The selection committee, which comprises representatives of different areas of the RLS, the RLS academic advisory board, representatives of our network partners and scholars with ties to the RLS, will meet in Berlin at the end of September 2019 to decide which research proposals will be funded. Please note that the selection made at that time is final, and cannot be revised.

Application & Contact Details
To submit your application, please visit our application portal. You will find templates for the endorsement letter and the institutional agreement, as well as comprehensive FAQs and further information on conditions, selection procedures, etc. in our Download Center. Please direct any further queries to
Your application should include:

• A letter of motivation

• A project outline, consisting of:
– Abstract (max. 2,000 characters including spaces)
– Research proposal (5 -10 pages maximum, including bibliography)
– Project timeline (please name your proposed start)
– Proposed publication outcomes

• Endorsement letter from the institution where you plan to carry out your research project
Please use the template provided on our application portal. The endorsement letter should be filled out by the person you choose as the mentor/academic supervisor for the project.

• Referee’s report on the candidate and research project
This report can be written either by an academic expert (preferably external to the institution where you plan to be based), or by a person involved in leftist political projects, movements or initiatives with whom you plan to collaborate for your project. In both cases, the report should provide detailed information on the project and candidate, and explain the importance of the proposed work and output.

• Binding institutional agreement: Please use the template provided on our application portal.

• Curriculum vitae, including a publication list
The publication list should be divided into publications in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, conference papers and information on the type of publication (original work, review, etc.). Each publication must indicate the status of the publication (published, printed, accepted, submitted). Full bibliographic details (including the number of pages) are required. If available, please provide a digital link to the publication.

• Description of political, social and/or cultural engagement
If possible, please provide proof of your activities (e.g. non-academic publications, letters of recommendation from organizations, initiatives, etc.).

• Copy of your passport

• Certificate of English language skills
You must be able to prove at least a CEFR C1 level of English, unless it is your native language or you wrote your doctoral dissertation in English. If you do not have a certificate, please provide written information regarding your language skills in a PDF.

• Certificate of your highest academic degree (generally a Ph.D.).
Unless the document is issued in English, an English translation is required. (A certified translation will not be required until a scholarship has been awarded by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.) If you have not yet completed your Ph.D., a statement from your doctoral supervisor must be enclosed with your Master’s degree (or comparable degree, e.g. diploma), along with a statement of when you expect to complete your Ph.D. Copies of the certificates in the form of PDF files are sufficient for the application. Successful applicants must present a certified copy of their Ph.D. certificate before the start of the scholarship.

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