Postdoctoral research position on Political Economy – The Interchange
between Democratic Institutions and the Globalisation of the Economy
Last modification : Tuesday, May 3, 2022
LEER is a research center of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the KU
Leuven. We aim for independent state-of-the-art academic research on public
economics issues with economic tools (see www. feb.kuleuven.be/leer).
Following World War II, globalisation and market liberalisation triggered a
period of unprecedented growth. Recently, these trends appear to reverse,
whereby globalisation and corporations started to pose challenges for liberal
democracy, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. As a PhD
researcher, you work within the Horizon Europe DemoTrans project, which is an
impact-driven research project that will provide theoretically and empirically
robust recommendations on how to reinvigorate democratic governance by
improving the accountability, transparency, effectiveness and trustworthiness
of rule-of-law based institutions and policies. Moreover, it will provide
robust recommendations on strengthening democratic governance through the
expansion of active and inclusive citizenship empowered by the safeguarding of
fundamental rights, thus showing pathways to a secure, open and democratic
More specifically, you study the organizational design of democratic
governance and its impact on policy outcomes and institutional legitimacy.
Within the European Union, national, regional and local authorities have to
coordinate their actions with supranational institutions and cooperate at
various stages of the policy-making process. The democracy and subsidiarity
principles are at the core of these interactions: i.e. citizens should be at
the heart of decision-making and their needs should be addressed by the
closest level of government. However, both aspects face major challenges
linked to increasing citizen dissatisfaction about the decision-making process
and budget restrictions imposed by economic crises. The way local governments
respond to novel forms of citizen engagement and to budget balance rule
enforcements is not neutral with respect to efficient or equitable results for
citizens. Yet, previous studies have overlooked the impact of these challenges
on local government efficiency and the costs of potential mismanagement. The
research addresses this research gap by investigating the impact of
participatory democracy and fiscal rule enforcement on local government
efficiency. We thereby specifically focus on two research questions. First,
does participatory democracy lead to higher local government efficiency and,
if so, how? Second, does budget balance rule enforcement have an impact on
local government efficiency and, if so, which are the levers pulled to comply
with fiscal rules? Overall, addressing these two research questions will
provide new insights and inform policy makers at different levels about the
impact of participatory democracy experiences and about the effect of imposing
budget restrictions from above.
During the three year postdoctoral research position, the postdoctoral
researcher writes academic papers which will be submitted to peer-reviewed
journals. Moreover, you assist prof. Kristof De Witte in the coordination of
the Horizon Europe DemoTrans project.
The Research Center LEER (Faculty of Economics and Business - KU Leuven) is
looking for an enthusiastic and motivated senior scholar. The candidate should
have the following qualifications:
You obtained a PhD degree in Economics or Political Economics by September
You have strong skills in statistical, econometric and quantitative data
analysis and experience with statistical packages; and are keen on
developing these skills further.
You have an empirical mindset, and have a strong track record in terms of
academic publications (either published or in the pipeline).
You have a keen interest in scientific research on political economics.
Enthusiastic and motivated to do research.
You are proficient in English, and you have very good scientific writing
You are a team player who is able to work independently.
You will join a dynamic and internationally oriented research environment
that focusses on political economics.
We offer a competitive full-time postdoctoral position. The position is
for 3 years, conditional upon a positive evaluation after 1 year.
We offer additional benefits in terms of health insurance, reduced public
transport prices, free bicycle use, access to university sports
KU Leuven offers opportunities to follow academic, skills and career
You are expected to participate in seminars and will occasionally be
involved in teaching activities including supervision of exams.
Start date – The academic year starts on September 1, 2022, but there is
some flexibility to start at a different moment in time.
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Kristof De Witte, tel.: +32 16
32 66 56, mail: email@example.com.
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish,
regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If
you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us