The University of Copenhagen is offering PhD positions in Food Security and Increased Market Regulation in the Global South (FAIM) in the 2021/22 academic session. The two positions are part of a broader overall research project aimed at contributing new insights on how the introduction of regulation aimed at creating well-functioning markets affects the poorest groups in the Global South.
The two (postdoc/PhD) researchers will carry out fieldwork in the same locations to uncover empirically how formal and informal regulatory measures affect food security in practice.
Research position on law, economics and development (focusing on the actual impact of the market economic regulatory measures)
Regulating markets is not just a matter of adopting legal measures and implementing economic policy. Markets are the meeting place of diverse actors, objects and ideas across multiple settings. Markets are therefore also a socially and culturally defined activity, where practical conditions, e.g. economy, culture, climate, infrastructure and governance capacities, influence both how regulation is implemented and its effects.
Using a mixed methods research approach, the researcher in law, economics and development is expected to provide narrative accounts of the actual impact of the market economic regulatory measures through semi-structured interviews with key informants. Subsequently, the insights from this investigation must be combined with a socio-economic survey in the urban and rural field sites to develop statistical measures of the distribution of populations vulnerable to food insecurity, and establish factors influencing market behaviour to increase our understanding of the extent to which insights gained from the interviews are generalizable in and across regions.
Research position on law, sociology and development (focusing on the factual legal situation)
‘Market economic regulation’ may leave a deceptive impression of clarity. In reality, it is an ambiguous notion. There are numerous ways of drafting such regulation, disseminating it to authorities and the broader public, construing the provisions, and of enforcing them. We therefore need to clarify the history of the applicable market economic regulation; to map how they have been communicated to different stakeholders – including public authorities and citizens; to clarify how they are interpreted in different contexts and in this respect to compare this interpretation with the drafters’ stated intentions; and we must clarify how they are enforced. These examinations must take into account both temporal and spatial dimensions: market economic regulation may play a different role during a drought (time), and in urban and rural settings (space). For this reason, the researcher in law, sociology and development shall carry out interviews both in the centre of power (e.g. with representatives in Parliament, Competition Authority, Supreme Court), and field visits along the supply chains of the two staple crops, maize and cassava, from production to the end-users (rural and urban settings).
The researcher in law, sociology and development will be responsible for carrying out fieldwork to establish the factual legal situation and, on this basis, to determine to what extent the market economic regulation is capable of affecting food security for the poorest groups. By using ‘food security’ as measuring rod the researcher in sociology and development will be able to identify patterns that trade volume and GDP are not capable of measuring.
They advise you to have the following documents ready before you begin your online application:
Submit your application electronically in English.
Deadline: The deadline for applications is February 1, 2021, 23:59 GMT+1.
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