Postdoctoral researcher for the Platform Labor research project

Research / Academic

The Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), one of the six research schools of the Faculty of Humanities, currently has a vacant postdoctoral position as part of the ERC Starting Grant project 'Platform Labor: Transformations of Work and Livelihood in Post-Welfare Societies', led by Dr Niels van Doorn.

The project consists of four subprojects, which examine the following topics:

  1. the opportunities and challenges of low-income service work in the 'on-demand economy';
  2. airbnb’s impact on cities and neighborhoods in terms of value production and social reproduction;
  3. the role of care platforms as emerging welfare actors;
  4. the policy and legal challenges that arise when labor and social reproduction are increasingly being rearranged by digital platforms.

The Platform Labor project addresses these topics through a cross-national comparative approach. The first three subprojects, conducted by the PI (1) and two PhD students (2 & 3), are rooted in ethnographic fieldwork research conducted in three cities that have seen a major growth in platform-mediated 'gig'  and 'sharing' economy activity: Amsterdam, Berlin, and New York City.

To investigate the legal and policy challenges of the platform-mediated organization of labor and social reproduction, examined in subprojects 1-3, a postdoctoral researcher with a background in comparative law and public policy will conduct subproject 4 during the third and fourth year of the Platform Labor project. In the first year, s/he will examine how the proliferation of labor platforms impacts ongoing welfare state transitions in The Netherlands, Germany, and the United States. For example, since platform labor is highly individualized and mostly performed by independent contractors, it puts significant pressure on waning/transforming institutions of collectivity in each country (from social security to collective bargaining agreements).

For a more detailed project description, please check the UvA website.


  • PhD degree in the field of comparative law and/or public policy;
  • specialization in labor and social security law;
  • outstanding research qualities manifested in a high-quality PhD dissertation and (preferably) international peer-reviewed publications;
  • excellent written and spoken English;
  • advanced understanding of German (understanding of Dutch is preferential);
  • demonstrable research experience with respect to welfare state transitions in Europe and the United States
  • demonstrable research experience with respect to urban policy and regulation
  • close familiarity with state of the art research on 'gig' and 'sharing' economies
  • keen interest in interdisciplinary research methods and approaches;
  • ability and willingness to work in a team;
  • willingness to travel abroad for research stays, conferences and project expert workshops;
  • proven organizational, administrative and leadership skills.

Salary Benefits:

We will appoint the selected candidate full-time (38 hours per week) for a period of 2 years at the Department of Media Studies of the Faculty of Humanities. The intended starting date is 1 February 2020. The appointment is initially for a period of one year. Contingent on satisfactory performance (i.e. completion of an academic journal article), we will extend it by a maximum of one additional year, leading to the completion of three international peer-reviewed journal articles. The gross monthly salary (on a full-time basis) will range from €3,389 during the first year to €3,773 during the second year, in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement (Cao) of Dutch universiti

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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