Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the leading centres for research in social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality.

Department ‘Resilience and Transformation in Eurasia’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is offering

2 PhD positions
(starting 1 October 2017)

The positions are offered within the research group “Political and Economic Anthropology of Southeast Asia” and will focus on the theme of electric statemaking in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Project Description
The construction of infrastructures as technopolitical assemblages is central to the organization of state power. With a focus on electricity in three key areas – generation, transmission, and consumption – this Research Group will investigate how the expansion of electric grids in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) interacts with social, political, and economic forces at various levels of governance. Policies and bureaucratic encounters will be investigated with reference to their role in the construction of particular (gendered, neo-liberal, moral, political) subjects and subjectivities. By applying an infrastructural perspective on statemaking processes, the Research Group aims to enrich current understandings of government and governance across different political regimes in and beyond Southeast Asia.

Your Profile
Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in Anthropology or a related discipline. Excellent academic writing and communication skills in English are essential. Prior field experience in the designated region and knowledge of relevant national and local languages are desirable. Brief research proposals (maximum 2 pages) should be attached; successful applicants are expected to be ready to modify details of their proposal when the Research Group is consolidated.

Our Offer
The PhD positions are awarded for three years, with the possibility of two six-month extensions. We expect our PhD students to complete a one year period of fieldwork as part of their studies. The workplace is Halle/Saale (Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany).
The Max Planck Society strives to employ more persons with disabilities and explicitly encourages applications. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in underrepresented fields; we thus explicitly encourage applications by women.

Please submit your application electronically by 30 April 2017 following the link for vacancies on our homepage.

Applicants should send the following documentation:

Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Personnel Administration
Janka Diallo (

Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to Kirsten Endres (

We look forward to receiving your completed online application under .

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.

You may print the job advert using this link.

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