Postdoctoral Fellowship: “Overcoming the Aggressor…” (Budapest, Hungary and Sofia, Bulgaria)

Deadline: June 30, 2023


The project will allow two postdoctoral fellows –one on behalf of our Centre for Advanced Study Sofia, and one from the Central European University Democracy Institute – to join and collaborate together with the broader academic network convened on the subject by the hosting institution – University of Heidelberg. Project is supported by a generous grant from the Daimler an Benz Foundation.

In brief: This new three-year international interdisciplinary project for postdoctoral scholars calls on an in-depth investigation on the identity-forming construction of national images of the enemy, which are shaped by aggressors from neighboring countries throughout Europe. The recent news of war and aggression in Europe – namely the full scale attack on Ukraine led by Russia, brought back the need to reinvigorate an objective debate on the figure of the ‘aggressor’, based on the official and unofficial narratives, revisiting the historiography on the subject and tracing its current developments, using a comparative perspective and posing a number of fundamental questions to contribute to the research, such as:

·         How are aggressors from one’s own or a foreign nation interpreted today in academia, in school lessons and in popular media, and how do their images shape notions of the national self and the foreign other?

·         What functions do representations of aggressors fulfil in the present for political identity and unity internally and against the outside world? –

·         How are aggressors constructed, what constitutes them? Which elements are emphasised, which are new, and which are ignored? etc…

Each postdoctoral position allows for the conception and implementation of an English-or German-language book project over three years. The project can be freely formulated within the framework of the above-mentioned description.

Eligibility requirement:

– Candidates must hold a PhD, earned not earlier than 7 years before the application is submitted (with maternity or paternity leaves and documented career breaks eligible for extension),

– they should have an outstanding research agenda, and a record of relevant and internationally recognized publications in the field,

– scientifically excellent project, which should have a comparative or transnational edge, going beyond studying only one national context,

– good knowledge of English and at least one language from East Central Europe, other language skills welcome.

Applications should contain:

– a motivation letter

– curriculum vitae

– copies of diplomas

– proof of language skills and professional experience

– one sample article or book chapter

– the names and addresses of two scholars, who can be contacted for letters of reference – and an outline of the project (max. 20,000 characters including spaces and bibliography).

Please send applications in electronic form (in one PDF file) and with the subject “Application for postdoc” to


For information see :

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