Morten Jerven Morten Jerven

Want a fully funded PhD and work with me @Noragric & @UniNMBU on the politics of numbers?

International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences is calling for applications for PhD positions. The positions are fully funded, and are enumerated as full time job according to Norwegian regulations. Full details of all the positions here.

One of the positions calls for proposals on the politics of numbers. Candidates can have masters degree in any background. The full description of this position (and instructions on how to apply) is found here. Here’s an excerpt:

The use of numbers, performance indicators and benchmarks have grown exponentially over the last two decades, particularly in the field of international politics and development. Indicators are now firmly established as a distinct mode of global governance. The process of numbering involves translating complex phenomena into numerical values.  The procedure converts what might otherwise be highly contentious normative agendas into numbers that appear technocratic and objective. The politics of numbers has implications for global governance, and particularly so for making norms, rules and regulations in the fields of International Environment and Development Studies.  We are seeking a PhD proposal with a foundation in an International Relations and/or International Political Economy perspective that studies topics of importance in International Environment and Development Studies.

When starting to work on your proposal you might want to take some inspiration from some of the recent literature. I have made some short summaries here and here. If you are considering to apply and you have questions, you are of course very welcome to contact me.

15 thoughts on Want a fully funded PhD and work with me @Noragric & @UniNMBU on the politics of numbers?

  1. Should the research proposal be sent to you and how many candidates can qualify? I am very interested in the governmentality/ governing effect of rating agencies and how it transpires to policy decisions, especially in my home country South Africa.

  2. I have done my masters in computer science and major in machine learning and data analysis . My question is do I qualify for this ?

    1. In principle: yes. You need a completed masters to apply. It will also depend on the quality of the proposal.

  3. My background is in demography and statistics, with nothing on political science. what is the prospect of completing a good work on this subject. I like the subject.

    1. That is a promising mix already. Write a good proposal and I will consider it carefully. You may want to try to contextualize your numbers work in the broader social sciences – by consulting some the work referred to in the posts I link to.

  4. I have done my masters in psychology and currently doing my masters in Anthropology,with a 25 years of experience in the govt services and private enterprise. Extremely interested in the concept of development from an anthropological perspective especially with regard to developing nations. Am penning the proposal and here I have a question . Has the research proposal got be very specific with regard to numbers or can it encompass both quantitative and qualitative inferences

    1. It can be using both quantiative and qualitive methods – as long as the study is about the politics of numbers or indicators.

  5. Dear Professor Morten
    I have done Masters in Development Finance (MSC Development Finance) after completing an MBA with a junior degree in mathematical sciences (BSc mathematical sciences). I am at my ear stages of my PHD (part time) and busy with a research proposal titled: Determinants of foreign direct investment – economic growth relationship in resource-rich versus resource-poor African countries. I have read some of your work and I is exciting, therefore would love to play a significant part of it. Can I use the same proposal for the phd. I am currently working for the South African Reserve Bank, having worked private banks, insurance and consulting in the last 18 years. PS: I am unable to access the application site, please assist

    Kind regards

    1. Dear Masindi,
      This position was filled. It expired last spring. There will be a new announcement in the spring again.

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