Postdoctoral Position in Comparative Studies of Digital Media and Political Contention

The Department of Communication, Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral position in the fields of comparative analysis of digital media and political contention with computational methods, to be filled on 1 September 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Job content

Rapidly emerging technologies are playing a significant role in shaping the way in which people engage with politics and pursue social justice, as we see in the cases of Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo movement, and the Arab Spring. We know a great deal about the technologies people use in political contention and movements, as illustrated by terms like “Twitter uprising” or “Facebook revolution,” which became interchangeable with “the Arab Spring.” And yet, we know very little about why people choose some but not other technologies, and how people decide on specific political uses of certain technologies as what Tilly calls “repertoire of contention” across different contexts. The To-Use-or-Not project explores and compares the reasoning behind people’s diverse decisions on use and non-use of technology for political contention in specific contexts, with both ethnographic and computational methods. A short description of the project can be found here:

In alignment with the goals of the overall project, we invite original proposals for a post-doc project advancing a comparative study of how people across different contexts (e.g., countries, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses) make choices regarding technology adoption and use for political contention across the globe. Political contention refers to the joint action of individuals who make claims that bear on someone else’s interests like protest, demonstration, and revolution. Comparison, then, entails, for instance, cross-territorial, cross-temporal, or cross-functional comparison – to mention just a few dimensions (Zhao & Liu, 2020). The postdoc is expected to have a strong educational background in sociology (political sociology), political science (comparative politics), digital communication, with a background of computation and (social) data science or related disciplines. The ideal candidate should have an interest in digital communication and politics and, especially, competence and experience in computational methods within the project. The candidate should, in the research proposal, indicate both her/his competencies and plan working with relevant datasets, such as the ones from Mass Mobilization Data Project Dataverse, the Social Conflict Analysis Database, Freedom House, Polity IV, the World Bank, or the International Telecommunication Union, on comparative analysis of political contention and digital technologies. The position also represents a unique opportunity for close collaboration with researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds (sociology, political science, data science, and journalism) and will advance interdisciplinary skills and perspectives. Furthermore, the project offers the possibility to actively involve in international exchange and collaboration, attend international conferences and workshops, and engage in public communication and outreach. 

The successful applicant will become part of the project entitled “To Use or Not to Use? A Relational Approach to Information and Communication Technologies as Repertoire of Contention” (To-Use-or-Not), which is funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark – Saper Aude (2022-2025). The project examines the use and appropriation of digital media in political contention like protests, demonstrations, activism, and revolutions in Europe, the United States, China and beyond. The successful applicant will work in close collaboration with the project leader, Associate Professor Jun Liu, as well as the other members of the To-Use-or-Not project at the University of Copenhagen and at the five other partner universities in Europe, the United States, and China. The successful applicant will also be affiliated with the Center for Tracking and Society (

Qualification requirements

In order to be considered for the position applicants must have research qualifications at least corresponding to what can be achieved as part of a successfully completed PhD within a relevant field, including sociology (political sociology), political science (comparative politics), communication, computation and (social) data science or related disciplines.

For further details about the qualification requirements for postdocs, please refer to the job structure for Academic Staff at Universities 2013:

For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Jun Liu (


The applicant should specific any prerequisite knowledge or work experience needed to make you eligible for this position with a background in computational methods.

Submit the application online in Adobe PDF or Word format.

Please click on the “Apply now” icon at the bottom of this page.

The application must be written in English and include the following enclosures:

  • Application letter/cover letter (max 1 page).
  • Curriculum vitae (with applicant’s e-mail & telephone number).
  • Documentation of qualifications (examination certificates/PhD diploma, etc.).
  • Complete and numbered list of publications. The enclosed publications must be marked with *.
  • Research plan, including a short description of previous research and a plan for the coming years that includes an account of how the applicant will contribute to the deliverables in the project description.
  • Documentation of teaching qualifications and research dissemination, if any
  • Publications. Applicants may choose a maximum of three publications for assessment. Publication dates must be clearly marked on the publication list. The publications selected must be uploaded as attachments and listed from 1 to 3.

Should any material submitted consist of work with named co-authors, or work that is otherwise the result of collective academic endeavours, the extent of the applicant’s contribution to the work must be clearly stipulated. The Faculty may ask for a signed statement from the co-authors stipulating the extent and nature of each individual’s contribution.

Only material in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and English can be expected to be assessed.

Appointment procedure

After the application deadline, the Head of Department selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the appointment committee.  All applicants are notified whether their application has been accepted for assessment. The Dean subsequently appoints an expert assessment committee tasked with carrying out an assessment of the selected applicants for the specific post. Selected applicants are notified of the composition of the committee. Applicants are ultimately offered the opportunity of commenting on the part of the assessment relating to themselves before the appointment is finalized.

Further information about the application procedure is available from HR, e-mail: Please refer to ID number 211-1382/23-2I

Salary and conditions of employment

Terms of appointment and salary will be in accordance with an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). The salary range starts at DKK 35,700, (EUR 4,700) + a 17,1 % contribution to the pension scheme. It is possible to negotiate salary supplements on an annual basis.

The Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) have further agreed on a protocol that makes it possible for international researchers employed by the University to achieve a pension exemption, whereby the pension contribution will be paid out as salary. For more information about the different pension schemes, please read more here:

If you consider applying from abroad, you may find useful information on how it is to work in Denmark and at UCPH here : http://ism.ku.dk and

UCPH wishes to encourage everyone interested in this post to apply, regardless of personal background.

The closing date for applications is 30 April 2023 at 23:59 [CET] 

Applications or supplementary material received thereafter will not be considered.APPLY NOW

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