Postdoc Building Peace: Transitional Justice in Early Modern France (0.8 FTE)


Faculty of Arts


University of Groningen

The University of Groningen, founded in 1614, is an international research university in the north of The Netherlands. Our staff create and share knowledge through outstanding research and education. The Faculty of Arts – which includes the History department – is located in the historic heart of the city of Groningen. Our research covers the following fields: Archaeology, Cultural Studies, History, International Relations, Journalism, Language and Literary Studies, and Linguistics.

Job description

Specialty areas: early modern history, French history, legal history, peacebuilding, religious conflict and coexistence

Applications are invited for a fully funded, three-year postdoc position within the research project “Building Peace: Transitional Justice in Early Modern France,” financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and led by Dr David van der Linden.

How can societies achieve a lasting peace in the wake of civil war? The United Nations advocate transitional justice, which aims to address wartime grievances and promote reconciliation by means of prosecution, truth and reconciliation committees, reparations, and memorials. Yet transitional justice has a far longer history, dating back at least to the early modern period. The aim of this project is to investigate the transitional justice mechanisms created in the aftermath of the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598), and to study the long-term impact of such efforts on religious peace and reconciliation.

In collaboration with the other project members, the postdoc will work on their own sub-project “Arbiters of Peace: Local Transitional Justice in Early Modern France.” Transitional justice scholars have argued that the cooperation of local communities is crucial to obtain durable peace. Local ownership lends more legitimacy to transitional justice, as stakeholders feel involved and are more likely to abide by decisions than if these are imposed top-down. The postdoc will analyse how such local peacebuilding functioned in early modern France, focusing on the royal peace commissions. Composed of one Catholic and one Protestant magistrate, they toured the provinces to oversee the edict’s implementation, such as the restoration of Catholic worship, the placement of Huguenot churches and cemeteries, and disputes over confiscated property. The postdoc will assess the commissioners’ effectiveness by comparing the commissions of 1599, those dispatched by Louis XIII in the years 1610-1630, and those investigating infractions of the edict during the reign of Louis XIV.

In addition to conducting research, the postdoc is expected to help organise the project conference and co-edit the conference volume with the PI. The postdoc will also collaborate with the other team members to develop a lesson programme on transitional justice.

The complete project outline is available at:


• PhD degree in a relevant field, such as early modern history, French history, legal history, cultural history, or religious history
• excellent command of both French and English
• experience in reading French manuscripts and early modern sources
• interest in methodological and theoretical discussions in the field of transitional justice, peacebuilding, and conflict studies
• experience in organising workshops, seminars, or conferences
• excellent track record in publishing
• ability to work independently whilst also a team player.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 36 months.

In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the University of Groningen offers you:

• a salary – depending on prior education and working experience – from a minimum of € 2,726.40 (salary scale 10, step 4) to a maximum of € 3,045.60 (salary scale 10, step 7 or salary scale 11, step 0) gross per month for an 0,8 FTE appointment
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% end-of-the-year allowance
• a temporary appointment of 0.8 FTE for a specified period of three years. Favourable tax agreements may apply to non-Dutch applicants.

The prospective starting date is 1 February 2022

The postdoc will be affiliated with the Research Institute for the Study of Culture Groningen (ICOG) and based at the Department of History.

Job Application

Applications should be made in English and contain the following materials:

• short statement (c. 1,000 words), explaining your motivation for applying
• curriculum vitae, including a list of publications and (if applicable) awards and/or fellowships
• copy of PhD diploma, or an official statement by the PhD supervisor that you will hold the required degree at the time of appointment
• contact details of two academic referees (no letter of recommendation is required; only the referees of shortlisted candidates will be contacted).

You can submit your application until 8 November 11:59pm / before 9 November 2021 before Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

The interviews with selected candidates will be held on 3 December 2021.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our University. We are committed to building a diverse faculty so you are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr David van der Linden, project’s PI (for information about the project itself)

Allyson Bulthuis (for practical information regarding the application procedure)

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 221603

Digital application form