Doctoral Student in Global Politics Specializing in Radical Rhetoric

About Malmö University

Malmö University is an innovative, urban and international institute of higher education, located in the centre of Malmö. We have around 1,800 employees and 24,000 students. Our research and education are characterised by the role we believe a university should play in an open society — to contribute to sustainability and equality in a scientifically grounded way with external partners and stakeholders. Identifying and addressing the challenges of the future are of highest priority. Our researchers and students work collaboratively to create, share and spread knowledge in order to understand, explain and develop society — both locally and globally.

Faculty of Culture and Society

The Faculty of Culture and Society is a multidisciplinary faculty that includes three departments: the School of Arts and Communication, the Department of Global Political Studies and the Department of Urban Studies. The Faculty conducts doctoral studies in the following subjects: Global Politics, Interaction Design, International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER), Media and Communication Studies and Urban Studies. The Faculty hosts two of the university’s five research centres.

The Department of Global Political Studies

The Department of Global Political Studies (GPS) is an interdisciplinary department, which incorporates approaches from both the social sciences and the humanities, and that undertakes research on politics, power relations and the construction of identity in local, national, international, and global contexts. Its focus is on organisations, governance, political instruments, and decision-making processes, as well as studies of international migration and migration-related social issues. GPS offers two doctoral programmes: Global Politics and International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER). The current position is in Global Politics.

Doctoral programme in Global Politics

The study of Global Politics is multidisciplinary and includes approaches from the humanities as well as the social sciences. The scientific core of Global Politics is the study of transnational and international politics, both in terms of continuity and change, cooperation and conflict, power and protest, politics in and beyond the nation state, and the proliferation of actors in world politics. A key element in the research is to attempt to extend and deepen the understanding and study of the exercise of power at the global level. Global Politics includes analyses of political, social, economic, and cultural relations and networks across national boundaries.

The goal of the programme is to develop the knowledge and skills required for the doctoral student to conduct research independently and contribute to the development of knowledge within the chosen subject area. The doctoral programme comprises 240 higher education credits (equivalent to four years of full-time studies), of which 60 credits are from courses. It is completed when the doctoral student publicly defends his/her printed doctoral dissertation (180 credits).

Research Project

GPS is seeking to fill one doctoral student position as part of the European doctoral network Coping with Varieties of Radicalization into Terrorism and Extremism (VORTEX). The project is financed by the European Union and is a European Doctoral Network within Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

VORTEX’s overarching aim is to develop new evidence-based innovative strategies to counter and prevent ideological and behavioural radicalization. The doctoral network, which is divided into 10 individual research projects, one for each doctoral student, includes Malmö University (Sweden), Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (Germany), the University of Marburg (Germany), the University of Helsinki (Finland), the University of Turin (Italy), the Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), the University of Oslo (Norway), and Babeș-Bolyai University (Romania). Malmö University coordinates the network and hosts two of the doctoral students. The doctoral network coordinator is Dr Kristian Steiner, Malmö University.

The appointed doctoral student is expected to formulate and conduct an independent and individual research project addressing the theme Radical rhetoric: understanding legitimating and mobilising discourses. The overarching theme concerns how secular and religious radical rhetoric legitimate violence and mobilize supporters to take part in violent actions. The objective is to contribute to an enhanced understanding of radical rhetoric: its discursive content, its legitimating and mobilising potential, its development and change, and its national and transnational proliferation.

Suitable candidates may come from a broad range of backgrounds, including but not limited to: Peace and Conflict Studies, Social Psychology, Political Psychology, Communication Studies, Political Science, Sociology, IMER, and Anthropology. Applicants able to demonstrate engagement in interdisciplinary research are preferred.

Although the doctoral student will be working on an individual research project, they will also be connected to the European doctoral network described above and will work in close collaboration with other doctoral students and senior researchers. The doctoral student is expected to spend time at universities and organizations in the project, within and outside Europe. The doctoral student will also be closely connected to the multidisciplinary environment at Malmö University.

Work duties

Those appointed to doctoral student positions shall devote themselves to their studies in the context of the above project. Whilst required to ensure their work fits broadly within the overall doctoral network by working closely with the project coordinator Dr Kristian Steiner, the doctoral student will complete independent research.

Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, in the last year of employment, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research, artistic research and administration, however, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post (Chapter 5, Section 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The doctoral education concludes with a doctoral degree and comprises 240 credits, which corresponds to four years of full-time study. The programme consists of courses and an independent research project that is presented in a doctoral thesis.

As a doctoral student, you will be expected to play an active part in the research and educational environment and in the European doctoral network. The doctoral students will be expected to attend events organized by VORTEX, spend time at universities and organizations in the project and to contribute to a textbook and a white paper on radicalization.


In order to be admitted to doctoral studies, the applicant must meet the general and specific entry requirements of the subject in question. Moreover, the applicant must be deemed capable of assimilating the education.

The general entry requirements for doctoral education (HEO Chapter 7 Section 39) will be met by those who have:

  • been awarded a second-cycle degree
  • satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
  • acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

The specific entry requirements for doctoral education will be met by those who have:

  • acquired the knowledge and skills equivalent to a second-cycle degree in Global politics or in another subject relevant to Global politics, or has the equivalent knowledge acquired within or outside the country.

Selection criteria

Selection among applicants who meet the general and specific entry requirements shall be made with regard to their capacity to assimilate the education (HEO Chapter 7 Section 41).

General selection criteria

  • Independent analysis and approach in previous work
  • Problem formulation and precision in the attached research plan and previous work
  • Methodological and scholarly maturity
  • Communication and cooperation skills

Doctoral programme-related selection criteria

  • Knowledge and skills corresponding to a social science or humanities second-cycle degree in a subject that is relevant to the field of Global Politics. For examples of relevant subjects, please see the above description of the research project.
  • Ability to express oneself in written and spoken English on an advanced level.
  • Documented experience of studying or researching any of the themes described in the individual research project above.

Project-specific selection criteria

  • According to the project funder’s regulations, the applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Sweden for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before their recruitment date.
  • According to the project funder’s regulations, the applicants must not already be in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment.
  • Ability to analyse how radical groups exploit individuals’ need for acceptance and belonging in groups and their fear of rejection.
  • Ability to analyse how social comparison is used to enhance self-esteem and ingroup favouritism.
  • Ability to analyse what behaviour that improves (or jeopardizes) the individuals’ status within the group.
  • Ability to analyse how radical groups define an ultimate meaning, a cause beyond the self, and how its members are supposed to take part in such a cause.
  • Ability to understand and communicate in the language(s) relevant for the proposed doctoral research project.

Further information

For questions related to the doctoral project, contact Associate Professor Kristian Steiner, project coordinator

For questions regarding the doctoral education, contact Professor Maja Povrzanović Frykman,

For other questions contact, Associate Professor Gunnhildur Lily Magnusdottir, Deputy Head of Department,

Information on the project Coping with Varieties of Radicalization into Terrorism and Extremism (VORTEX) can be found here:

In our recruitment work, Malmö University has taken a stand regarding recruitment channels and marketing. We therefore decline all offers of advertising and recruitment assistance in connection with this advertisement.


You may apply for this position via Malmö University’s recruitment system by clicking on the “Apply” button. As an applicant, you are responsible for ensuring that your application is completed in accordance with the advertisement, and that it is provided to the University no later than 2023-01-16. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the University can read what is written in the application. If the application is not written in Swedish, English or any of the Nordic languages, the applicant is responsible for the application and its appendices being translated.

The application must include:

  • Completed application form for admission to Research Education
  • Curriculum Vitae with up to three references (including title, affiliation, email address, phone number, and the relationship to the applicant)
  • Scans of diplomas, transcript of records and other certificates relevant for the position
  • A research plan of up to 3000 words excluding references. The research plan must contain an overall purpose, questions that the project intends to answer, an account of the theoretical framework and the methodological approach and a description of research material and the way it will be obtained.
  • A personal letter up to 500 words
  • Independent work at advanced level (including master thesis or equivalent)


Preparation of admission to postgraduate education and employment as a doctoral student take place in parallel. Only those who are or have been admitted to doctoral courses and study programmes at a higher education may be appointed to doctoral studentships (Chapter 5, Section 3 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The doctoral studentship is a fixed-term position comprising four years of full-time studies, in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5 Section 7.

Malmö University is a workplace and higher education institution that is characterised by an open and inclusive approach, where gender equality and equal terms add value to our activities. Moreover, the project will follow The European Charter for Researchers, The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, and “will not discriminate against researchers in any way on the basis of gender, age, ethnic, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, social or economic condition.”

Malmö University applies salary setting for doctoral students in accordance with a local agreement on salary setting for doctoral students.

Start date

The starting date is 1st of September 2023.

Union representatives

SACO-S, Rebecka Johansson,

OFR, Martin Reissner,

PhD Student Union representative

Michel Anderlini,

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

You apply no later than 16/01/2023 by clicking the apply button.