Understanding Statehood through Architecture is recruiting two postdoctoral research assistants


We are looking for two postdoctoral research assistants to work on the project Understanding Statehood through Architecture: a comparative study of Africa’s state buildings (ASA).

The project is funded by the European Research Council and run from the Department of Politics and International Relations, SOAS, University of London.

The role

The two research assistants will each carry out an independent sub-project under the direction of the PI, involving substantial periods of fieldwork in Africa.

They will be responsible for organising workshops, conferences and exhibitions in the UK and in Africa.

They will be expected to attend conferences within their discipline to present their work, and to write, publish and edit articles, books and special issues independently and in collaboration with other members of the team.

The two roles are described below.

Applicants are encouraged to develop further and new ideas within the broader remit of the project.

Both jobs are full-time for three years. The starting date is 1 September 2018.

Postdoctoral Research Assistant 1 (regional politics)

The project focuses on regional politics in Africa, through a study of the African Union building in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and regional headquarter buildings including those in Abuja (Nigeria), Arusha (Tanzania) and Gaborone (Botswana).

The project will explore questions around regional cooperation and pan-Africanism, thinking about how regional HQs enact and reshape domestic, regional and pan-African identities.

Working within these broad parameters, the RA will be encouraged, in consultation with the PI, to re-fashion and push the project in their own direction.

Postdoctoral Research Assistant 2 (international politics)

The project focuses on international politics, exploring how African countries project themselves through their airport buildings, often important prestige projects, symbolic as well as substantive gates to the wider world.

Examples could include Nairobi (Kenya), the very cramped interchange hub of the continent, Mogadishu (Somalia), the only part of the Somali capital safe enough to conduct international state business, and Cape Town’s state of the art airport built at controversially high cost to show South Africa off to the world during the World Cup.

The project will ask questions around how airports are designed and built to impress visitors with a sense of the country they are entering.

Working within these broad parameters, the RA will be encouraged, in consultation with the PI, to re-fashion and push the project in their own direction.

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