The Department of Urban and Rural Development at SLU offers a strong social science research environment in the subjects of environmental communication, rural development, landscape architecture and agrarian history. We are now recruiting a postdoctoral researcher in the Division of Environmental Communication, where we investigate the communicative aspects of environmental and sustainability issues. We consider communication as the joint construction of meaning rather than as the transmission of information, and conduct primarily qualitative social science research concerned with themes such as legitimacy, participation, power, resistance, conflict and learning in decision making and change processes from a communication perspective. Our research spans a wide range of contexts such as nature conservation, forestry, food production, climate change, game management, mining and the built environment.
There is widespread agreement among climate scientists and activists that societal transitions aiming to limit further exacerbation of climate change will have to accelerate dramatically. However, recent years have shown that where parts of the population experience social change as exclusive and marginalizing, such processes of change are met with powerful resistance and (often populist) opposition. Our 3-year Formas-funded project develops visions of a socially accepted governance of societal transitions that is seen as legitimate, opens up for and can constructively deal with conflict and resistance. To do so, we investigate governance approaches that promote a transition to a fossil-free welfare society, and in particular the interactions between them, from the diverse perspectives of those being governed, focusing on the role of resistance and perceived (in)justice. Rather than conducting new case study research, we draw on document analysis and the insights of key informants to capture the diversity of perspectives on transition governance, including those that could be seen as antagonistic, and to collaboratively identify possible ways to address opposition (including both ‘silent’ and overt disagreement) and experiences of injustice. The research will focus on Sweden but also draw on the Scottish example for additional insights.
We are looking for a highly motivated, proactive and creative new colleague with a PhD degree and a strong background in a relevant social science (such as sociology, political sciences, human geography or communication science), as well as experience in theoretically grounded, qualitative empirical research. Swedish language skills are an essential requirement as most of the empirical work will take place in Sweden, but we also expect the candidate to be strong in both written and spoken English. Experience with Swedish climate change-related research, actors and debates would be an asset, as are proven skills in key informant interviews, document analysis and the organisation of research workshops.
As postdoctoral appointments are career-developing positions for junior researchers, we are primarily looking for candidates with a doctoral degree that is not more than three years old.
Place of work:
Form of employment:
Fixed term employment (24 months), with possible extension.
We welcome your application (please use button below) by 2020-04-17.
Academic union representative:
The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.
SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.
SLU is an equal opportunity employer.