[18/06/2018] Call for applications for a 2-Year long post-doc position

Call for applications for a 2-Year long post-doc position open to any candidate with a PhD in Social Sciences with a preference for any of the following fields: International Relations, Political Science, Political Thought, Security Studies, Communication Studies or Asian Studies

Two research centers at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium) – i.e. EASt and REPI – are jointly seeking to hire a post-doctoral researcher willing to work on:

The project will explore how East Asian Millennials have used public spaces – be they tangible or virtual – to contribute towards shaping a distinct, even at times contentious, political identity. Across the globe Millennials have increasingly engaged with social and political issues through original mediums of interaction. In East Asia, Millennials have used online platforms and practices to either invest or transform the political use of public spaces. New virtual spaces have garnered particular significance in the region seeing that more traditional or tangible spaces have alternatively suffered from growing disinterest or oppressive control. The emergence of new virtual fora of political speech has proven a structural phenomenon affecting every East Asian polity, regardless of the nature of the political regime considered. Indeed, while eschewing open activism, Millennials throughout East Asia have sought to consolidate their generation’s political identity through new practices and political habits, which often involved disguised forms of political struggle and resistance which thrive online. Novel youth-driven virtual public spaces have thus allowed for new political identities to be declared and tested.
Among the region’s technologically sophisticated youth, online political engagement has in varying measures and cases served either as an answer to intensified government surveillance ranging from an avoidance strategy in the face of the growing securitization of public spaces to a tool for real-world political mobilization; or a means to transcend social isolation phenomena through online like-minded communities the scope of which can range from the local, to the national or even macro-regional. These new spaces of political discourse and identity building online raise a series of crucial questions. How are these “hidden online transcripts and discourses” created? By whom? And to what effect, whether on the political identities of East Asian Millennials or even on the wider political climate within the region?
The researcher will explore these questions within the framework of one of the most visible and highly controversial cases of political online activism in East Asia: cyber-nationalist discourse within and between the three North East Asian powers (i.e. China, Japan and South Korea).

Possible questions might include any of the following three clusters:
1. How are online discourses of millennials in North East Asia articulated with official ones?
Do they function rather more as a vent for generational frustrations or as echoing chamber of state-sponsored positions? Are younger generations’ online discourses re-appropriated by State-actors? And if so how?

2. Is online activism an alternative or a gateway to other forms of (political) mobilization?
What relationship between the online mobilization of millennials in North East Asia and established/historic nationalist movements? How does online nationalist discourse in North East Asia broach history-building in the region?

3. How do online practices transform the relationship between nationalism and territory?
How have online practices transformed the ways in which millennials “perform” their political identities? Have online practices led to a “gamification” of Nationalism? If so, to what effect?

To apply, candidates must send their applications as a single PDF file to the project supervisors (vanessa.frangville@ulb.ac.be and Thierry.Kellner@ulb.ac.be), no later than the 13th of August 2018 (17:00 CET).
Applications must include:
– A letter of introduction (statement of motivation and personal interpretation of the research project);
– A full academic CV, including the name and contact details of two academic referees (we may contact your referees during the application process);
– An academic record with copies of diplomas and transcripts for BA, MA and PhD.

For further questions please contact both of the aforementioned project supervisors

Complete application