Within the framework of its research group “Monetary Sovereignty”, the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS) is seeking to fill


2 Research Positions for Doctoral Projects (f/m/d)

(part-time, 65%)

The positions are available as of 01.04.2023 and limited to a period of three years.

The research group Monetary Sovereignty is dedicated to the study of the complex relationship between money and politics. It brings together researchers whose projects address the political economy of money in historical or contemporary contexts, with a special emphasis to theory building and theory development.

Money research at the HIS focuses on social conflicts that arise over the design of monetary orders. The projects reflect a mutual interest in how and by what means monetary orders are transformed (at the local, national, or international level), and in the process create degrees of freedom, constraints, and limitations for different actors, social groups, countries, or regions. The researchers in the group thus approach “monetary policy” not as the technical domain of independent central banks, but as an arena of political struggles, in which lines of social conflict and power asymmetries—class, gender, center/periphery, society/nature, public/private, among others—manifest themselves, are reproduced or are changed.

Many current phenomena offer grounds for a critical interrogation of the relationship(s) between money and politics: the return of inflation and tight mandates that overburden central banks; the digitalization of monetary infrastructures from Bitcoin to Fintech to CBDCs, the geopolitical challenge of dollar dominance and the scenario of fragmented payment systems in a globalized world market; the distortions of private and public money creation and their different degrees of freedom and restrictions; the prospect of the separation of monetary and fiscal policy in the face of climatic, economic and social challenges, the disconnection of monetary capacities from democratic decision-making processes; or, more generally, the future of monetary institutions and practices in times of multiple crises.

The turbulent monetary policy field calls for analysis that is theory- and history-sensitive, interpretation, contextualization, and critique. The phenomena outlined here are by no means meant to prescribe subjects for further research but aim to inspire and provide a perspective: we are interested in the political development of monetary relations, we value sophisticated theorizing, and we attach importance to the public relevance of our research.

We expect applicants to submit conceptual outlines for research on historical or contemporary topics that fit into the group’s perspective. The outlines should indicate the targeted research gap, the proposal’s theoretical background, and the approach to be applied.

The HIS is a private research institute. As an operating foundation, it funds doctoral projects but does not conduct doctoral procedures. Applicants must enroll as doctoral candidates at a university. This can also be done after a successful application.


Your qualifications:

  • Above-average master’s level degree in sociology, political science, history, economics, or a related discipline,
  • high proficiency in both spoken and written English; a good working knowledge of written and spoken German is desirable, but no ultimate requirement.


Benefits of working with us:

  • a remuneration comparable to salary group E13 TV-L (collective tariff agreement for the public sector) in accordance with our in-house tariff,
  • a budget for travel, books and other research related expenses geared to the needs of the research project,
  • a company pension scheme for old-age provision,
  • the flexibility needed for a family-friendly arrangement of working hours,

The Hamburg Institute for Social Research advocates diversity and equal opportunities and strives for a balanced gender ratio in all areas of work.


Please send your application consisting of

  • a cover letter,
  • a curriculum vitae,
  • a transcript of records,
  • names and contact information of 2 academic referees (no letters of reference required),
  • a short outline of the proposed doctoral project (2-3 pages),
  • an academic writing sample (term paper, master’s thesis, etc.)
  • in German or English, all bundled in one single PDF document, to bewerbung(at)his-online.de.

The deadline for applications is 31.12.2022 (23:59h CET).

Should you have any questions with respect to this job advert, please do not hesitate to contact us at the e-mail address provided above.