PhD-fellowship "An Intellectual History of Global Inequality" (Univ. of Aarhus)

Aarhus University
01.09.2019 - 31.08.2021
Christian Olaf Christiansen

An Intellectual History of Global Inequality, 1960-2015: Ghana/Africa (5+3), 2019-6

The Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, in collaboration with the Independent Research Fund Denmark, invites applications for a fully-funded PhD fellowship in An Intellectual History of Global Inequality, 1960-2015: Ghana/Africa provided the necessary funding is available. This PhD fellowship is available as of 1 September 2019 for a period of up to three years (5+3). The candidate who is awarded the fellowship must commence his/her PhD degree programme on 1 September 2019.

The PhD fellowship will be financed by the 2 parties.

The PhD fellowship is advertised within the field of An Intellectual History of Global Inequality, 1960-2015: Ghana/Africa.

The PhD project will be part of the Danish Research Fund-funded project An Intellectual History of Global Inequality, 1960-2015. The successful applicant will join a research team led by Associate Professor Christian Olaf Christiansen.
The overall project is an intellectual history of global economic inequality. Focusing on the entangled histories of American, South American, Indian and African public intellectuals, the project will trace their conceptualizations of international and global inequality, their expectations for how (un)equal their future world would be, and their views on the legitimacy of economic inequality. What were the main historical differences, similarities and connections between Northern (Western) and Southern concepts, temporalities and legitimizations/critiques of international economic inequality in the postwar era? A central thesis is that space matters: where people are located in the world matters for their concepts, their expectations for the future, and their views on the legitimacy of inequality. The research objects of this study are concepts, theories and ‘languages’ on international economic inequality from 1960-2015. The approach is historical-contextualist and combines conceptual and intellectual history, focusing upon contributions to academic and public debates by public intellectuals, especially economists, sociologists, historians, and philosophers. Furthermore, the approach is comparative: we will compare the thought of Northern (primarily American), Indian, African (primarily Ghanaian) and South American (primarily Argentinian) public intellectuals. The project is thus divided into four subprojects, each investigating a significant geographical area in the global discourse on economic inequality, enabling us to make new comparisons and trace connections in South-South as well as in North-South exchanges. The project will be an important contribution to the global turn in intellectual and conceptual history.
The PhD student will study key African intellectuals, especially from Ghana, and the intellectual history of international and global economic inequality in Ghana. Ghana has been home to several key intellectuals who have addressed global inequality. Key figures include Kwame Nkrumah, Joseph W.S. de Graft-Johnson, A. Adu Boahen, Kofi Annan and Kwame Anthony Appiah. Special attention will be devoted to exploring links to the North as well as to the South, and on how inequality has been conceptualized, imagined and legitimized/critiqued. The study may also involve other important African intellectuals and/or Pan-Africanists, such as Obafemi Awolowo, Amìlcar Cabral, George Padmore, Walter Rodney, Samir Amin and Dambisa Moyo. The applicant’s project description should propose how to expand and detail this sub-project closely within the aim, structure and methodology of the overall research project.
In the assessment of the applications, we will put a special emphasis upon qualifications and/or potentials for further development in the following areas of expertise: intellectual and conceptual history and methodology; history of economic thought; knowledge of geographical focal area; global history relevant to the overall project (such as North-South or South-South connections); excellent language skills.
The PhD student is expected to have a half-year research stay at a leading international research institution outside Denmark, to do field study (including interviews) in Ghana, to present research at international meetings, and to have the ability to work independently as well as in collaboration within a research team. The PhD will also play a role in organizing research workshops, conferences, and other such activities. The successful applicant will be expected, under the guidance of the team leader, to develop their research within the framework provided by the grant awarded. It is crucial for the overall comparative research project that the successful applicant is ready to collaborate in research analysis and publications together with the research team.

The PhD student must complete the studies in accordance with the valid regulations for the PhD degree programme, currently the Ministerial Order of 27 August 2013 on the PhD degree programme at the universities:

Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme:

Rules and regulations for the PhD degree programme at the Graduate School at Arts:

The PhD fellow will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Graduate School at Arts, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University, with the aim of completing a PhD degree at the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University.

The PhD student will be affiliated with the PhD programme Theology, History of Ideas and Philosophy.

The PhD student’s place of work will be the School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. In general, the student is expected to be present at the school on an everyday basis.

The PhD degree programme is expected to include a lengthy research stay at a foreign institution, cf. Description of the graduate school’s PhD degree programme.

School of Culture and Society’s research programme:

5+3 programme

When you apply for a 3-year PhD fellowship (5+3), you must have completed your two year Master’s degree (120 ECTS) no later than 31 August 2019.

The PhD fellow will be employed as a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. The terms of employment are in accordance with the agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (see section 6.1.4), as well as with the protocol to the agreement covering staff with university degrees in the state sector (see enclosure 5). The agreement and the protocol including amendments are available online:


If you require professional guidance regarding your application for the PhD fellowship please contact the PhD programme director at Theology, History of Ideas and Philosophy:

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Christian Olaf Christiansen, School of Culture and Society,, Phone + 45 87 16 22 78.

The application can be written in both Danish and English.

All applicants must document English language qualifications comparable to an 'English B level' in the Danish upper secondary school ('gymnasium'). Please see this page for further information:

Applications for the PhD fellowship and enrolment in the PhD degree programme can only be submitted via Aarhus University’s web-based facility.

Guidelines for the application facility:

Deadline for applications: 15 March 2019 at 23.59 Danish time (CET/CETS).
Reference number: 2019-6

During the assessments, Aarhus University can conduct interviews with selected applicants.


Christian Olaf Christiansen
Jens Chr. Skous Vej 7, 1465

PhD-fellowship "An Intellectual History of Global Inequality" (Univ. of Aarhus), 01.09.2019 – 31.08.2021 Aarhus, in: H-Soz-Kult, 28.01.2019, <>.
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