Recent Scholarships

More Scholarships

Recent Conferences

More Conference

Recent Master Programs

More Master Programs

Recent Ph.D. Announcements

More PhD Programs


PhD: Theory and Empirics Applied to Women in the Top, Univ. of Amsterdam [DL: 10/07/2012]‏

PhD candidate 'CITE women: Changing Institutions – Theory and Empirics Applied to Women in the Top'
for 38 hours per week
vacancy number W12-122

This project aims to investigate how institutions come about and what makes them change. Point of departure are individuals wishing to change institutions like labour laws. The main research question is: How may individuals wishing to change institutions set about doing so and what determines their likelihood of success?

The project will develop a theory to address this question. This will focus on the intermediary role of meso-level organizations in attempts to change institutions. The theory will subsequently be submitted to an empirical test. The test focuses on a particular case of institutional change, to wit, employment quota for women in top labour market positions. For this empirical application, the project will consider firms as meso-level organizations that may intermediate in individual attempts to change institutions.

Female employment quota are an interesting case of institutions. This is because they vary a lot across countries, even though in most countries there are people that would like to support women’s participation in high positions through the development of new institutions. Though the importance of institutions on gender (in)equality is well-established, much less is known about their origin.

Following the tradition in analytical sociology the project focuses on the mechanisms underlying relations between: (i) micro-level individual decisions; (ii) meso-level organizational processes; and (iii) the macro-level institutional setup. The interest is in whether and how organizations mediate when individuals want to change institutions.

More in particular, the project will address the following questions:

* What explains the divergence in success when individuals try to change institutions?
* What mechanisms determine whether meso-level organizations mediate in individual attempts at institutional change?
* What mechanisms affect the likelihood that mediating organizations will succeed in changing institutions?

While the theory aims at applicability to a wide range of institutional changes, the empirical application on employment quota provides a suitable testbed. Three countries will serve as specific cases to test the theory’s predictions. For a stress-test, one country is chosen where institutions on women’s board representation have substantially changed (Norway), one with less change (the Netherlands), and one without change (Poland).

PhD Project: Micro-Meso-Macro Empirics
The main objective of this project is to study how the interaction between individuals in a firm affects the likelihood that the firm will mediate in attempts to change institutions. It will do so by looking at the relationships between individuals’ value orientations and firm’s social norms, and between these norms and the firm’s formal rules, in each of the three countries. This will be addressed by collecting and analyzing field survey data from employers and employees of randomly selected firms in each country e.g., using data banks of national chambers of commerce or branch organizations. These data will be used to explain cross-firm variations (per country) in the extent of mediation by cross-firm differences in the relationships between individuals’ value orientations and organizations’ social norms, and between these social norms and the organizations’ formal rules.

Possibly, the project will be extended to investigate how social mobilization between the firm and other organizations (e.g., trade unions, political parties, women lobby groups) affects the likelihood of successful institutional change. This will be addressed by combining the field survey data with in-depth interviews in each country with key informants from firms (e.g., female board professionals), unions, political parties, women’s lobbies, churches, etc.


* Master’s or Research Master’s Degree in one of the social sciences (or expectation of completion before the starting date of the project);
* Affinity with quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques in the social sciences;
* Interest in interdisciplinary research;
* Willingness to give English-language presentations, to publish in the English language, and to teach in the Field of Social Sciences (in English as well);
* Language competencies in other languages than Dutch or English will be considered as an advantage.

Further information

Further enquiries concerning the project itself can be obtained from Dr. Klarita Gërxhani (<>).

For more information regarding the AISSR, see:

For more information regarding the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, see:


The position will be on a temporary basis for the period of 3 or 4 years (12 months plus a further 24 or 36 months after a positive evaluation and depending on the preparatory training). The project will start in the fall of 2012. The gross monthly salary will be € 2,042 in the first year and € 2,612 in the fourth year in the case of a full-time position (38 hrs / week). Secondary benefits at Dutch universities are attractive and include 8% holiday pay and an 8.3% end of year bonus.

Job application

Applications, in the form of a motivation letter and a full CV (including the names and contact details of two references from which information about the candidate can be obtained) must be sent by e-mail to<> before 10 July, 2012. Emailed applications should bear the text: PhD research project “CITE women” in the subject line and should contain the documents as an attachment (pdf).